Martins Parting Shot: Rules Deter Network Investment

Former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin couldn’t exit without taking a parting shot at the principles of the new presidential administration.

“There could be a more regulatory environment,” Martin told the Financial Times on the eve of his last day (today) at the FCC. “If you come in with too much of an interventionist approach, you could . . . deter people from investing in the infrastructure.”

What Martin seems to have glossed over is the hands-off approach he advocates has led, in other industries, to chaos and tumult (Wall Street and the obscured spending of the first half of the bailout funds, anyone?). Within telecom, Martin’s policies have re-created the Bell system and encouraged the buildout of broadband networks in already served areas – and that does little to encourage meaningful infrastructure investment or promote ubiquitous broadband access.

President Obama has yet to name Martin’s successor, but all fingers point to Julius Genachowski as that person.

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