I managed to listen to Verizon’s Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Policy and Communications, Tom Tauke’s speech to US policy makers about his vision for a realigned telecom mandate to update the now crumbling Telecom Act of 1996.

Verizon’s position is best summed up by their release of yesterday;

A key reason why the FCC doesn’t consider the activities of those who control operating systems or applications is that the FCC looks at the world from the standpoint of its jurisdiction rather than from the perspective of the consumer,” Tauke said. “Given the outdated statute, that’s somewhat understandable. But from a reasonable person’s perspective, that approach makes no sense. That is why we need Congress to update the law.

His suggested four points for the update to the act make sense;

  1. consumers should be free and empowered to use any legal device to access any legal content,
  2. consumers must feel safe under uniform and consistent security laws,
  3. consumer access and adoption should be a priority for the government,
  4. the government’s role should be to protect consumers and ensure a smoothly functioning marketplace.

His broader point was that all players within the industry “ecosystem” must be subject to the same set of rules and expectations. Listen to his full speech here as it was presented to NDN earlier in the year.

I am not a great supporter of regulation for regulation’s sake but it is probably time that some thinking be done to standardize the rules across a far¬†reaching¬†industry.

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