If all had gone according to the plan behind the 1996 Telecommunications Act, we would have lots of competition among Internet service providers, not just cable and DSL but other technologies as well. Alas, the competing technologies never really appeared and various incarnations of the FCC effectively gutted the common carriage requirements at the heart of the Act.
Earl Comstock joins us today to explain what they had in mind when they spent years developing the goals and text of the Act. A staffer to Senator Stevens – and yes, we discuss the legacy of Senator “series of tubes” Stevens and you might be surprised when you learn more about him – Earl helped to craft the Act and then had to watch as the FCC and Courts misinterpreted it.
At the heart of our conversation is what they believed would be necessary to achieve the goals of expanding access to telecommunications service to all.
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Thanks to Valley Lodge for the music, licensed using Creative Commons. The song is “Sweet Elizabeth.”