Primer: The Basics of Special Access

The special access market is in the crosshairs of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) action, and faces a wave of new rules meant to engineer outcomes under the veneer of competition. This regulatory trend has been demonstrated before, with spectrum, with interconnection, and with network neutrality. In each, the agency extended its reach to the periphery of its legal authority in the hopes of creating the Goldilocks market. The agency has been myopic to some of the key problems in regulating innovative markets. Without appropriate agency consideration for dynamism, consumers could be harmed. In the final analysis, the agency should approach this issue with regulatory humility and works towards the removal of rate regulation, the goal set out in 1997 after the Telecommunication Act.

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