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 The policymaking landscape is encumbered not just with outdated rules and regulations, but also with the same outdated thinking that produced those policies in the first place.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


International Public Broadcasting Can Come Home, But Do We Need It at All?

By Trevor Burrus. Daily Caller. July 17, 2013.

Time to Update Standard for Broadcasters

By Ilya Shapiro and Trevor Burrus. Gannett News Service. January 15, 2012.

Time for the Supreme Court to End FCC Indecency Censorship

By Ilya Shapiro, Berin Szoka, Emma Llanso, Lee Tien & John Bergmayer. Huffington Post. January 11, 2012.

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.


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

Walburg v. Nack

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

Comcast v. Behrend

By Ilya Shapiro, Walter Olson and Andrew M. Grossman. Legal Briefs. August 24, 2012.

Verizon v. FCC

By Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. July 23, 2012.


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

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

Parental Power: TV Indecency, the FCC, and the Media’s Response

Featuring Roger Pilon. May 10, 2006. Policy Forum.

The Telecom Act Nine Years Later: Why Reform Can’t Wait

Featuring Adam D. Thierer. February 7, 2005. Capitol Hill Briefing.