The U.S. communications business is headed for a radical transformation that will require basic changes to the the policy of providing a copper access line to every home in the United States, regardless of location or cost, says Larry Spiwak, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies president.
“With the rise of inter-modal competition, we are no longer in a monopoly world where in exchange for serving 100 percent of the service territory, the local telephone company has 100 percent of the customers bearing 100 percent of the costs of the network”, says Spiwak.
In fact, no service provider, using any network, can expect to get much more than 30 percent to 35 percent of customers for any application or service.
That necessarily will require rethinking of how universal service obligations are imposed and fulfilled.
Regulatory symmetry, the notion that providers of the same services should play by the same rules, is another requirement.
In other words, it increasingly makes little sense to regulate large telcos one way, cable companies another way, mobile service providers and satellite providers yet other ways, non-facilities-based providers differently than facilities-based providers or “non-dominant” firms distinctly from “dominant firms.”