I personally have been cheering in support of Viviane Reding’s proposed plans to set up a Europe-wide oversight body and mandate functional separation of telecommunications providers. But it looks as if national regulators in Europe are fiercely fighting back. This Reuters article suggests that Ofcom and others are opposed to a pan-Europe regulator on the ground that such a body would be a top-down, single-answer entity. Ofcom’s Ed Richards also points out that functional separation (well, for DSL, not fiber) has been achieved in the UK without a Europe-wide mandate.
This is all very interesting from a U.S. perspective. Reding seems to have the right ideas, and they’re big ideas, but the national regulators are resisting the notion of an overlord – and seem from this article to be beefing up an existing (but insufficiently strong) group-institution-for-national-regulators as an answer to her plans. (This is the “you can’t fight something with nothing” move.)
Here in the U.S., by contrast, we *have* a regulator overlord, but the big ideas are absent within that institution and the out-manuevering by the incumbents is impressive.
====I spent the morning listening to Monday’s FCC hearing and will report tomorrow. The seat-blocking by Comcast isn’t so interesting to me, but the substance of the hearing is.
*Cross-posted from [Susan Crawford blog](http://scrawford.net/blog).*