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.