Competition policy to make a level playing field for all communications. #CommActUpdate.

The House of Representatives is in the midst of updating the Communications Act from 1934, the laws that govern America’s ICT industry.  This is an important opportunity to modernize communications policy and regulation so that it reflects today’s dynamic reality of convergence:  the combining of communication, computing, and content. Rather than impose a set of conditions from days of the telephone, radio, and analog TV, we have the opportunity to make a simple, consistent, technology-neutral framework that supports competition. Read my letter to Congress below.  My earlier letters are noted below.

June 13, 2014

Hon. Fred Upton
Energy and Commerce Committee
US House of Representatives
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Hon. Greg Walden
Communications and Technology Subcommittee
Energy and Commerce Committee
US House of Representatives
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Re: Communications Act Update

Dear Representatives Upton and Walden:

Thank you for your continued leadership on the vital issue of updating America’s Communication Act and for another opportunity to participate with comment. Enclosed please find two articles I have written in support of this important effort. The points I wish emphasize include

  • Competition is created by the level of technology, not the number of competitors.
  • A market-led, technology neutral approach is best for communications regulation and policy.
  • Outdated classifications conceptualized for the world 80 years ago should be retired in favor of a common regulatory framework for all technologies, services, applications, and business models.
  • Responsibilities of the FCC should be refined to enforcement of communications policy, not rulemaking.
  • A uniform set of consumer protections for all digital technologies should be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, which has the expertise in this area and is best suited to enforce net neutrality and anti-discrimination rules which should apply to all players in the value chain.
  • When it comes to emerging issues, relying on standard setting and guidance from multi-stakeholder organizations is preferable to regulation.

Please keep up your good work.


Roslyn Layton
Ph.D. Fellow, Internet Economics
Center for Communication, Media and Information Technologies
Aalborg University
Frederikskaj 12, 3rd Floor
Copenhagen, Denmark 2450

Article from InsideSources 11 June 2014
Article from Roll Call 25 February 2014

Earlier Letters

January 31, 2014 on the general Communications Act

May 5, 2014 on spectrum