Intercarrier compensation – still?

July 20th, 2008 by · Leave a Comment

The FCC has been promising to 'fix' intercarrier compensation since the 90s, but they have a court-imposed deadline of November of this year.  Does anyone actually believe it?  There is a quote from The Princess Bride by Inigo to Vizzini:  "You keep using that word.  I don't think it means what you think it means", and it applies here.  A deadline isn't a deadline if you have already pushed it back by about a decade. 

In a classic understatement,  FCC Commissioner Adelstein recently said: "We all wish this subject was like a good wine -- mellowing and improving with time, Instead, we need to watch out for it turning into vinegar."  I'm sorry, but we're way past vinegar here.  And besides, I like vinegar - in the right dish of course.

But actually, I think he's wrong.  We don't all wish everything was all hunky dory.  Many of us do, even most of us.  After all, clear and unambiguous laws and regulations are very important to a healthy economy.  But there is a good sized group of people who have benefited and continue to benefit from this regulatory black hole.  And is that group is likely to succeed in delaying real action by the FCC this time also?  Well, it generally doesn't pay to bet against inaction by the FCC.  Oh, I'm sure they will issue *something* in November on the subject, but I'm equally sure that 'something' will require more hearings, lawsuits, etc to clarify it.  Then we can overhaul it again.

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Categories: Government Regulations

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