During this era of construction of the information superhighway, this volume presents a prudent analysis of the pros and cons of continuing state regulation of telecommunications. While interested parties either attack or defend state regulation, careful scholarly analysis is required to strike the appropriate balance of regulatory federalism. Focusing on regulation in the 1990s, it uses a positive political economy perspective to analyze enduring state-federal conflicts and to weigh the justifications and explanations for continuing state telecommunications regulation, or for changing its structure. It also considers normative concerns and makes recommendations about how to improve telecommunications policy. Seriously concerned with assessing the problems surrounding cost burdens for different categories of consumers, market entry for different firms, economic growth and the information infrastructure, global competitiveness, and control over information, this volume attempts to provide answers to the following specific questions:
* How are states regulating telecommunications in the brave new world of global markets, fiber optics, and digital technology?
* Do states vary significantly in their regulatory models?
* How are the politics of state and federal regulation different?
* Would a different federal-state relationship better serve national telecommunications goals in the future?
To tackle these critical questions, the scholarly perspectives of economists, lawyers, political scientists, and telecommunications consultants and practitioners are employed.
"Divestiture, relaxed federal regulation, and a judicial swing in favor of state authority have once again made federalism an important topic in telecommunications policy. Paul Teske has assembled the best compendium to date on shared federal and state regulation of arguably our most important infrastructural industry. The book is a must for anyone interested in the policy choices that are shaping the information superhighway."
"This very thoughtful and well balanced book will add substantially to our understanding of the highly complex and controversial issues involved. The presentation is of a high standard."
—Martin C.J. Elton
New York University
"The selections in this book, many from among the most prominent people in their fields…bring us up to date on a rapidly changing policy area. They offer a variety of perspectives across several disciplines, including political science, economics, history, law, and communications. The studies are of uniformly high quality, and the combination of so many fields on the same topic displays the utility of interdisciplinary approaches. One important feature of the book is that major papers are followed by several commentaries, offering differing and sometimes critical perspectives. This enlivens the book immeasurably. Another important feature is that authors are not content only to describe the current state of affairs, but make policy suggestions for the future. This should stimulate policy debate and discussion within the telecommunications policy community, as well as the wider political system. This book is a welcome addition to the telecommunications policy, regulation, and federalism subfields, and is suitable for use in a wide range of courses."
—Jeffrey E. Cohen
The University of Kansas
Contents: Part I:Overview and History. P. Teske, Introduction and Overview. D. Gabel, Federalism: An Historical Perspective. Part II:State Policies and Actors. B. Cole, State Policy Laboratories. P. Teske, M. Bhattacharya, State Government Actors Beyond the Regulators. Part III:Costs and Benefits of State Regulation. B. Egan, J. Wenders, The Costs of State Regulation. S.B. Megdal, The Benefits of State Regulation. J. Haring, Comments -- A Simple Decision Rule for Jurisdictional Issues. D.N. Jones, Comments -- Institutional Issues. W. Gormley, Comments - Alternative Perspectives on Intergovernmental Relations. Part IV:Federalism and the Future. E. Noam, The Federal-State Friction Built into the 1934 Act and Options for Reform. H. Geller, Comments -- Legal Issues in Preemption. J. Tobias, Comments -- "Notwithstanding Section 2(b)…": Recent Legislative Initiatives Affecting the Federal-State Balance in Telecommunications Regulation. P. Teske, Conclusions.