Happy Birthday, Telecom Act

While there’s been plenty of talk over the years of the need to update the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to account for the changes in technology, it’s still the law of the land. And this week, it celebrated its 20th birthday. The bill was the first major overhaul of telecommunications law in more than 60 years—which helps explain why everyone is reticent to begin a complete rewrite. Among many other things, the act deregulated cable rates and permitted the FCC to ease cable-broadcast cross ownership rules.