The telecommunications sector is dynamic. Markets and technologies continue to evolve rapidly, but communications policy has not kept pace. The policymaking landscape is encumbered not just with outdated rules and regulations, but also with the same outdated thinking that produced those policies in the first place.

The traditional premises for regulation—a lack of competition and a perceived need to ensure universal service—are vanishing, if not already gone. Telecommunications can be accessed across the nation, and the market for communications services has grown increasingly competitive with each passing year. Placing all telecommunications providers on the same, deregulated playing field should be at the heart of telecommunications policy.

More on Telecom Regulation


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Cato Studies

Fairness 2.0: Media Content Regulation in the 21st Century

By Robert Corn-Revere. Policy Analysis No. 651. November 10, 2009.

The Lesson of the XM/Sirius Merger

By Jim Harper. TechKnowledge No. 119. August 15, 2008.

Low-Power FM: Freedom Is Diversity

By James Plummer. TechKnowledge No. 115. May 28, 2008.


Transcript: Five Train Wrecks of Information Disclosure Policy

Walter Olson. Vermont Law Review. Vol. 38. No. 4. Summer 2014.

A Modest Proposal on ‘Must-Carry,’ the 1992 Cable Act, and Regulation Generally: Go Back to the Basics

Roger Pilon. Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal. Vol. 17. No. 41. 1994.

Public Filings

Kurtz v. Verizon New York, Inc.

By J. David Breemer, Christopher M. Kieser, Ilya Shapiro, & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. November 14, 2014.

Minority Television Project v. FCC

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Walburg v. Nack

By Karen Harned, Luke Wake, Ilya Shapiro, & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. November 15, 2013.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Regulating the Mobile App Market

Logan Albright. Regulation. Fall 2014.

The Questionable call for Common Carriage

Christopher S. Yoo. Regulation. Summer 2014.

Regulating the Telecosm

George Gilder. Policy Report. September/October 1997.


Transparency Time: Wikipedia-Editing for Congress

Featuring Jim Harper. August 18, 2014. Capitol Hill Briefing.

You’re Gonna Need a Warrant for That: The Path to Digital Privacy Reform

Featuring Julian Sanchez. July 8, 2014. Policy Forum.

Updating ECPA: An Electronic Privacy Law for the 21st Century

Featuring Julian Sanchez. May 21, 2010. Capitol Hill Briefing.