Uncommon Wisdom

Aug 28 2009   11:57AM GMT

FCC on wireless: Defining competition is task one

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

The FCC voted unanimously to move both of its wireless investigations to the formal Notice of Inquiry phase, but it is clear that (as usual) the body is divided along party lines regarding just what might be done.

Democrats think the industry has competitive issues and Republicans do not. Their differences seem to us to come out of the definition of “competition.” Republicans want to define it as having multiple wireless provider choices available, while Democrats define it as having relative freedom and flexibility to exercise handset and service options without being locked into a single provider.

In short, the “mobility” of customers is a concern of Democrats, and that may be a harder point to cover in a regulatory sense.

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