How AT&T, Verizon and the Telecom Giants Have Captured the Regulator Supposed to Control Them
By David Rosen and Bruce Kushnick
Our telecom industry’s overseer doesn’t seem to have any control to stop the greed. That’s because it’s a puppet of the industry giants.
In a recent AlterNet article, we detailed how the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) helped increase the “FCC Line Charge” (SLC), now capped at $6.50 per line, that is imposed on every residential and business phone line. It is a charge that is usually hidden among the “taxes and surcharges” section of the phone bill. It does not go to fund the FCC, but is a direct subsidy to phone companies.
However, the full story of the role AT&T, Verizon and others played in the FCC’s deliberations establishing the SLC has yet to be told. It is a model of what is known as “regulatory capture,” the process by which a federal or state regulatory or other government agency becomes too cozy with those it is charged to oversee.