Does not compute

Jeff Pulver tries to make sense of the FCC’s broadband and VOIP policies… and fails. VOIP gets regulated, while broadband access gets deregulated, for seemingly contradictory reasons. Jeff wonders aloud if the FCC is simply engaged in “a simultaneous effort to twist words and statutes to suit its own ends.”

I’m not as shocked as Jeff at the FCC’s actions, but I do question the Commission’s decisions. The best way I see to reconcile the logic of the two orders is that the Martin FCC wants to stop being an economic regulator, yet become more of a social policy regulator. (Of course, with social policy limited to things like access for law enforcement, rather than universal access or consumer protection.) This is consistent with Martin’s strong support for indecency regulation, potentially extended beyond broadcasting to other digital media.

Unfortunately, it’s not so simple as that.