Will Ideology Block Opportunity? Regulatory Reform in the Infrastructure Industries
Although the United States is deeply divided ideologically, and this divide nominally may seem to halt opportunity for policy advances, this need not necessarily be the case. Notwithstanding our ideological differences, a number of practical opportunities for policymakers to improve economic welfare have emerged, about which there is considerable agreement if not complete political consensus, that allow policy progress. These opportunities create a potential path for practicality to forge agreement even in the face of widespread ideological discord across American society. This basic thesis is no more evident than in the set of infrastructure industries that policymakers across the political spectrum have identified as crucial for U.S. competitiveness in the 21st century. As such, this paper focuses on broadband technologies (both wired and wireless), which policymakers of all political stripes have identified as crucial for economic growth. To make its point, this paper identifies: (1) the practical, as opposed to ideological, case for regulatory reform in the broadband sector; and (2) a number of available measures that create opportunities for meaningful and beneficial regulatory reform.
Published in the Federal Communications Law Journal, volume 70, issue 2.