Posts Tagged ‘Wireless Telephone Regulatory Modernization Act’
July 1st, 2013 at 5:15 pm
Now for Some Good News: Rhode Island Enacts Wireless Telephone Regulatory Modernization Act
Posted by Print

Despite the federal government’s incessant attempts at expansionism, individual states continue to serve as invaluable laboratories of democracy.  That applies even in deep-blue Rhode Island, where new legislation helps ensure that emerging telecommunications technologies not already regulated will remain that way.  That assurance will encourage continued investment in wireless and broadband, which will in turn spur innovation and improve consumer service.

Entitled the Wireless Telephone Regulatory Modernization Act, the bill opens by noting that experience over “many years” has “established robust competition in the wireless communications market without unreasonable, industry-specific regulation as the best means of promoting universal service, economic efficiency, technological innovation, expanded consumer choice and empowerment, and investment in and development of advanced communications services.”  From that starting point, the bill:

–   Ensures that next-generation wireless services aren’t suffocated by bureaucratic regulations imposed with 20th century technology in mind, thereby encouraging experimentation and growth;

–   Encourages introduction of new products and services to enter the market and satisfy consumer demand for faster and more efficient performance by reducing the specter of uncertainty in regulation;  and

–   Preserves consumer trust that state and federal consumer protection authorities remain available to address actual concerns that may arise.

The bill summarizes, “Stating such policies in statute will provide additional certainty and continuity of this policy, and is necessary to attract new investment in wireless, broadband and other advanced networks, encourage technology deployment and promote the creation of new jobs in Rhode Island, while at the same time ensuring that consumers of wireless service continue to benefit from the consumer protection laws that apply to consumers generally.”

The telecommunications and broadband sectors remain a rare bright spot in our national and world economies, and legislation like this ensuring a “light touch” regulatory regime provides a welcome source of reassurance via our functioning laboratories of democracy.