Broadband still too new to regulate

It's too early to put too many rules in place that would guide broadband
deployment, regulators said Wednesday at the 'Broadband Outlook 2002' conference
in Washington, D.C.

'Wherever possible, the market, not government, should drive this deployment.
Government's role is to remove the regulatory underbrush that impedes efficient
capital investment,' said Nancy Victory, assistant secretary of the Department
of Commerce and head of the National Telecommunications & Information
Administration.

Victory's agency, along with Commerce's Technology Administration, is working
hard to develop the Bush administration's broadband policy, although she was
uncertain when anything would be announced.

Companies -- particularly broadband providers and large technology
corporations -- have been asking the administration to announce its position on
broadband deployment and pushing for a largely hands-off approach.

In an economy that has turned harsh for tech, companies are looking to the
Bush administration to provide them with some security in the form of a set
policy that investors can rely on.

The Federal Communications Commission is working on four separate
broadband-related proceedings, Common Carrier Bureau chief Dorothy Attwood
said.

But Victory, Attwood and several other regulators speaking at the conference
said there was no identifiable problem with broadband deployment and, thus, no
real need for regulation.

In fact, said Bob Pepper, chief of the FCC's Office of Plans and Policy, at
10 percent market penetration, consumers have adopted broadband faster than any
consumer technology since black-and-white television.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.