By Harold Furchtgott-Roth

ISBN-10: 084474235X

ISBN-13: 9780844742359

The writer, who served as one of many 5 commissioners of the Federal Communications fee for a number of years, explains why this and different executive organisations that aren't manage with separation of powers in brain turn out undermining the guideline of legislations.

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Additional info for A Tough Act to Follow?: The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Separation of Powers Failure

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It also never saw fit to give the FCC narrower responsibilities than the public interest, or to instruct the FCC to separate the different powers of government. At the beginning of the 1970s, the FCC still primarily regulated a few identifiable large firms—AT&T, NBC, CBS, ABC—and thousands of smaller telecommunications and broadcast firms. For all of the agency’s potential failings, the structure of regulation had become relatively predictable. The FCC regulated businesses that were not fully exposed to all manner of competition, making moderate requests with which they would comply in order to keep their licenses.

Thus, General Motors sold cars to consumers and tanks to the Department of Defense. General Electric sold refrigerators to consumers and specialized parts to aircraft manufacturers. But the flexibility to enter a new line of business, or even to leave an existing one, was not available to many FCC THE ANCESTRY OF THE FCC 21 licensees. Thus, a broadcaster could not, according to the FCC, own a newspaper. And a telephone company could not offer cable service. Consistent with the Communications Act of 1934, the FCC pigeon-holed companies by establishing rules of what they could or could not do based on the parentage of the licensees, and individuals both inside and outside the affected industries saw these rules as retarding new commercial services and offerings.

And customers were left with the bad taste of unmet promises. The losses spread rapidly. Manufacturing firms that had financed their telecommunications customers’ expansion plans were left holding the bag. 38 A TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW? The difficulties of companies such as Winstar became problems for vendors like Lucent that had sold equipment on credit to their credit-hungry, undercapitalized customers. The new telecommunications firms also owed large sums to incumbent carriers for connecting them to their customers.

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A Tough Act to Follow?: The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Separation of Powers Failure by Harold Furchtgott-Roth


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