Transformative Choices: A Review of 70 Years of FCC Decisions

Sherille Ismail
2011 Journal of Information Policy  
This paper presents a historical review of a series of pivotal FCC decisions that helped shape today's communications landscape. These decisions generally involve the appearance of a new technology, communications device, or service. In many cases, they involve spectrum allocation or usage. Policymakers no doubt will draw their own conclusions, and may even disagree, about the lessons to be learned from studying the past decisions. From an academic perspective, however, a review of these
more » ... ns offers an opportunity to examine a commonly-asserted view that U.S. regulatory policiesparticularly in aviation, trucking, and telecommunications -underwent a major change in the 1970s, from protecting incumbents to promoting competition. The paper therefore examines whether that general view is reflected in FCC policies. It finds that there have been several successful efforts by the FCC, before and after the 1970s, to promote new entrants, especially in the markets for commercial radio, cable television, telephone equipment, and direct broadcast satellites.
doi:10.5325/jinfopoli.1.2011.0006 fatcat:t3beyxcdnnavnkmyf4mdjhfcta