In Brief – FCC Again Can’t Admit (Yet Reports) There’s Wireless Competition

by Mike Wendy on June 28, 2011

In Brief – The FCC released its 15th Wireless Competition Report the other day.  As with last year’s report, this year similarly concludes – or rather, omits the conclusion – that the vibrant wireless industry is effectively competitive.

Industry analyst, Scott Cleland, was disappointed, noting in his blog:

In sum, the copious evidence of effective competition in the FCC’s own 15th Wireless Competition Report puts the FCC in the untenable position of denying the success of fifteen years of competition policy and de-regulation.

In his view, Congress should step in to:

to define up competition to counter-balance the FCC’s natural bureaucratic bias to define down competitive markets to the point that self-justifies their need to economically regulate.

On the other side of the fence, Free Press, too, was unhappy with the Report, stating:

We are disappointed that the FCC failed again to state clearly and conclusively that the wireless market is not effectively competitive, despite its own evidence. This conclusion should be glaringly obvious, and the Commission’s willingness to stick its head in the sand is not going to make the problem go away. Refusing to bless the current level of competition is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough.

I guess it’s tough being the cop on the beat.  No one appears satisfied.  Still, it seems to me that the regulatory crowd gets the “W” on this.  By not affirmatively finding that the market is effectively competitive (which the FCC had done until the last two reports), the pro-regulatory agency just adds to its tool chest, allowing it to better feint and manipulate its captures when needed down the road.

And you know it will “find” a need.


txpatriot June 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm

This really should come as no surprise. Facts be damned — the FCC did not want to box itself in with the AT&T / T-Mobile merger review still pending.

Mike Wendy June 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Perhaps, but the FCC could do a little more cheerleading of the good stuff. And there is a lot of it. The general meme, however, is – networks providers are a “necessary evil.” I obviously don’t agree with that.

du2yve July 3, 2011 at 12:29 am

Who do you work for? Do you really think 3 wireless providers are enough for 300 billion – or do you just like the slice of pie you’d get with 2 carriers. Broadband sucks and I live in the inner city (not rural) of the 5th largest city in the U.S. I have NO choice of ISP’s for high speed – and I’d use that term loosely since a friends DSL is faster. That’s insane. My 3g phone is faster and could stream a video better than broadband.

If we drop to 2 carriers, well wireless might end up going the way broadband has with no competition,

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