Digital Crossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age / Edition 1

Digital Crossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age / Edition 1

by Jonathan E. Nuechterlein, Philip J. Weiser, Philip J. Weiser

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ISBN-10: 0262140918

ISBN-13: 9780262140911

Pub. Date: 02/20/2004

Publisher: MIT Press

Telecommunications policy profoundly affects the economy and our everyday lives. It sets the ground rules for how people send and receive information, whether through telephones or television or the Internet. Yet accounts of important telecommunications issues tend to be either superficial (and inaccurate) or mired in jargon and technical esoterica. In Digital


Telecommunications policy profoundly affects the economy and our everyday lives. It sets the ground rules for how people send and receive information, whether through telephones or television or the Internet. Yet accounts of important telecommunications issues tend to be either superficial (and inaccurate) or mired in jargon and technical esoterica. In Digital Crossroads, Jonathan Nuechterlein and Philip Weiser offer a clear, balanced, and accessible analysis of how the Internet is transforming not just the economics of the telecommunications industry, but also the legal and policy debate about how- and whether-that industry should be regulated.

About the Author:
Jonathan E. Nuechterlein is a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP in Washington, D.C.

About the Author:
Philip J. Weiser is Professor of Law and Telecommunications at the University of Colorado and Executive Director and Founder of the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program

Product Details

MIT Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     xiii
Preface to the Paperback Edition     xv
Preface     xxix
The Big Picture     1
Economic Principles     3
Network effects and interconnection     4
Economies of scale and density     10
Monopoly leveraging and the concept of "information platforms"     16
Convergence     23
Introduction to Wireline Telecommunications     31
A Primer on Wireline Technology     32
Transmission pipes: loops and transport     33
The basics of wireline transmission     33
The fiber glut     36
Regulatory distinctions among transmission pipes     38
Switches     39
Circuit switches     40
Packet switches     42
Traditional Telephone Rate Regulation     45
The basics of price regulation     45
The regulatory compact     46
Dual jurisdiction     47
Access charges     49
Tariffs     50
Price caps     51
Introduction to universal service policies     52
Wireline Competition Policy Before 1996     55
Telecommunications equipment manufacturing     57
Long distance competition and the AT&T consent decreee     60
Competitive access services     64
The first steps towards "local exchange" competition     66
Wireline Competition Under the 1996 Act     69
The Objectives     69
The Wireline Competition Provisions     74
A taxonomy of carriers and services     76
Addressing network effects: interconnection and collocation     79
Addressing scale economies: "network elements" and "resale"     80
Leasing an incumbent's network elements     80
Reselling an incumbent's retail services     84
Procedures for implementing the local competition provisions     85
Addressing monopoly leveraging concerns: section 271     88
UNEs and the "Impairment" Standard     91
Network element entry strategies     92
The rise and fall of UNE-P     98
The early terms of the UNE-P debate     39
The Triennial Review Order and USTA II     102
The aftermath of USTA II     105
Loop-transport combinations     108
A Primer on Internet Technology     115
The Basics     115
From analog to digital     115
Modularity and layering     118
The logic of the Internet     121
E-mail and the World Wide Web     125
The Internet's Physical Infrastructure     128
Beginnings     129
The Internet backbone     131
The last mile: from narrowband to broadband     134
The chicken-and-egg problem     134
The business market     138
The mass market     140
Monopoly Leveraging Concerns and the Internet     149
The History and Economics of Monopoly Leveraging Concerns in the Internet Marketplace     151
The Computer Inquiries     151
Monopoly leveraging concerns in a broadband world     155
Three Proposals for Addressing Monopoly Leveraging Concerns     158
Multiple ISP access     159
"Net neutrality" and the end-to-end principle     168
The asserted need for Net neutrality rules     171
The potential costs of Net neutrality rules     174
Wireline broadband unbundling rules     179
The terms of debate     179
Line sharing     182
Next generation networks     184
VoIP and Proposals for "Horizontal" Regulation     191
Introduction to VoIP      191
The Regulatory Treatment of VoIP Services     197
IP-to-IP services     198
PSTN-to-PSTN services     200
IP-to-PSTN services: the basics     201
IP-to-PSTN services: classification and jurisdiction     204
VoIP, "Horizontal" Regulation, and Title I     209
Calls for a layers-oriented model of regulation     209
Title I, Title II, and forbearance     213
The contours of the FCC's ancillary jurisdiction     216
The Spectrum     225
Revolution in the Air     227
The Basics of Traditional Spectrum Regulation     231
Allocation     233
Assignment     235
Beyond Command-and-Control     239
Property rights     242
The Easter Bunny wins the Breakness     243
Controversy in the transition     245
Commons: Einstein's cat in the age of the mouse     251
From theory to practice     257
Mobile Wireless Services     261
The Basics of Cellular Technology     262
The Regulatory Landscape     267
Categories of wireless telephony licenses     267
The general deregulation of wireless telephony     270
Interoperability Among Wireless Networks     274
Wireless-Wireline Competition and Regulatory Parity Questions     281
Number portability     283
"Enhanced 911" mandates     287
Intercarrier Compensation     291
The Crazy-Quilt of Intercarrier Compensation Schemes     293
Access charge arbitrage scandals-and their origin in regulatory artificiality     293
The ISP reciprocal compensation controversy     296
Intercarrier compensation and VoIP     303
Intercarrier compensation rules for wireless and transiting carriers     306
The Economics of Intercarrier Compensation Reform     308
The economic logic of the "terminating access monopoly"     310
The antiregulatory solution: freedom to deny interconnection     313
The highly regulatory solution: calling-network-pays     315
The moderately regulatory solution: bill-and-keep     319
Intercarrier Compensation Reform and the 1996 Act     324
Universal Service in the Age of Competition     333
The Political and Economic Dynamics of Universal Service     334
Universal Service Funding Mechanisms     339
The basics     339
The case of "rural" carriers     344
Universal Service Contribution Mechanisms     348
Universal Service in a Broadband World     352
Competition in the Delivery of Television Programming     357
The Basics of Television Programming Delivery     360
Regulation of Relationships Among Video Distribution Platforms     363
Retransmission consent     363
Must carry     365
Satellite retransmission of broadcast signals     367
The program access rules     369
Regulation of Relationships Between TV Programming Producers and Distributors     371
Broadcast networks     372
Cable television     375
Restrictions on Ownership of Television Broadcast Stations     378
Telecommunications Standards, Technological Transitions, and Digital Television     385
An Overview of Telecommunications Standards     387
The era of Bell and Sarnoff     387
Current standard-setting institutions     389
The economics of standard-setting and the role of the FCC     392
The Digital Television Case Study     395
The development effort     396
The deployment effort     398
Digital must carry and the statutory 85% threshold     400
Content providers and digital rights management      402
The Future of Telecommunications Policy     407
Digital Juggernaut     409
First Principles of Institutional Reform     411
Four values for managing competition policy     411
Judging Congress     413
The antitrust alternative     414
The FCC in Transition     419
Determinacy     419
Relations with reviewing courts     421
Relations with the states     422
Relations with coordinate merger review authorities     423
Neutrality     426
Humility     428
The Pricing of Network Elements     431
The basics     431
Historical cost     433
Forward-looking cost     435
Where forward-looking and historical costs diverge     440
Varieties of forward-looking cost methodologies     443
Prospects for revisions to TELRIC     448
Enforcement Mechanisms Under the 1996 Act     455
The FCC's enforcement apparatus     455
Enforcement of interconnection agreements     458
Statutory Addendum     461
List of Notable Commentaries     493
Table of Authorities     513
Notes      533
Index     643
Glossary of Acronyms     667

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