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Looking backwards on the occasion of Telecommunications Policy’s fortieth anniversary reveals just how far U.S. communications policy has come. All of the major challenges of 1976, such as promoting competition in customer premises equipment, long distance, and television networking, have largely been overcome. Moreover, new issues that emerged later, such as competition in local telephone service and multichannel video program distribution, have also largely been solved. More often than not, the solution has been the result of structural changes that enhanced facilities-based competition rather than agency-imposed behavioral requirements. Moreover, close inspection reveals that in most cases, prodding by the courts often served as a key institutional catalyst for change.


Communications law, telecommunications law and policy, Federal Communications Commission, FCC, competition, government regulation, mass media, voice, customer premises equipment, long distance, local service, video, broadcasting, cable, direct broadcast satellites, The Internet

Publication Title

Telecommunication Policy

Publication Citation

40 Telecomm. Pol'y 891 (2017)