Nine Years from Hell: Telecom Act 1996

Yesterday was my parents’ marriage anniversary, which was the real reason I forgot about the most ignominious day in the history of US telecom – the day of the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In the nine years that have passed since, telecom has gone to hell. More than $750 billion has vanished, and not to mention hundreds of thousands have been left scrambling for a living. AT&T is gone, MCI is on life support, and well we know how that has played out. My dear friend, Lawrence Gasman, who is a senior fellow at Cato Institute blames overzealous politicians, and half baked advice from pundits. I whole heartedly agree. “Who killed telecom? Over-zealous regulators did. Litigation-happy lawyers did. And lawmakers who were unwilling to exercise any effective oversight did,” he writes in his new paper, which is up on the Cato website. He so generously has quoted from Broadbandits: Inside the $750 Billion Telecom Heist and some of my pre-bubble burst work at the real Red Herring. Those of you who think it is over – well, let me point to my doomsday scenario. On a more negative note, don’t forget the WorldCon trial is still in progress.