Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Lawson A. W. Hunter (Stikeman Elliot), Philippe Gauvin (Regulatory Affairs, Bell Canada) and David Krause (Economic Analysis, Bell Canada) have published Changing the Presumption of When to Regulate: The Rationale of Canadian Telecommunications Reform.
ABSTRACT: In a dynamic environment such as the telecommunications industry, it becomes increasingly difficult to consistently determine and enforce optimal regulatory responses. To improve the rigor and responsiveness of the regulator, the regulatory process should contain four elements: (i) the regulator should have a clear policy framework with an emphasis on reliance upon market forces to the maximum extent feasible; (ii) the regulator should be subject to a standards-based, legally binding test; (iii) there should be an advocate for market forces; and (iv) there should be regular and frequent external reviews. Recent changes to the regulatory process for the Canadian telecommunications industry have incorporated all four of these elements. These changes should limit the regulatory process' ability to impede the benefits that Canadians receive from continuing technological innovation and increasing competitiveness of the telecommunications industry.