This thesis presents a history of United States telecommunications regulation in the 20th Century with a view toward explaining the economic motivations of the involved parties and exploding economic myths such as "natural monopoly" and "cross subsidization" by the application of common sense. The relative success and failure of antitrust and economic regulation are analyzed on a subjective but quantitative scale, with antitrust regulation as the clear winner in terms of the author's standard of "public interest." The thesis examines specific economic incentives resulting directly from economic regulation, in particular, rate-of- return regulation and the FCC's interpretations of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, that has caused uneconomic investments and conduct which is contrary to the public interest. Suggestions are made for changes in regulatory principles and specific actions to improve the results of economic regulation.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Telecommunication policy--United States; Telecommunication--Law and legislation--United States; Telecommunication policy--United States--History
Department, Program, or Center
Information Sciences and Technologies (GCCIS)
Sayre, Gregg, "Regulatory distortions of local exchange telecommunications infrastructure" (2001). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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