Take Action

Home | Faculty & Research Overview | Research

Research Details

Toward a Unified Theory of Access to Local Telephone Networks, Federal Communications Law Journal

Abstract

Over the past several decades, regulatory authorities have imposed an increasingly broad array of access requirements on local telephone providers. In so doing, policymakers typically applied previous approaches to access regulation without fully considering whether the regulatory justifications used in favor of those previous access requirements remained valid. They also allowed each access regime to be governed by a different pricing methodology and set access prices in a way that treated each network component as if it existed in isolation. The result was a regulatory regime that was internally inconsistent and vulnerable to regulatory arbitrage. In this Article, Professors Daniel Spulber and Christopher Yoo trace the development of these access regimes and evaluate the continuing validity of the rationales traditionally invoked to justify mandating access to local telephone networks (e.g., natural monopoly, network economic effects, vertical exclusion, and ruinous competition) in a world in which competition among local telephone providers is a real possibility. They then apply a five-part framework for classifying different types of access based on the branch of mathematics known as graph theory that models the interactions among different components. This framework shows how different types of access can have a differential impact on network configuration, capacity, reliability, and cost. It also captures the extent to which networks constitute complex systems in which network components interact with one another in ways that can make network behavior quite unpredictable. In addition, the framework demonstrates how mandated access can increase transaction costs by forcing local telephone providers to externalize functions that would be more efficiently provided within the boundaries of the firm.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Daniel Spulber, Christopher S. Yoo

Date Published

2008

Citations

Spulber, Daniel, and Christopher S. Yoo. 2008. Toward a Unified Theory of Access to Local Telephone Networks. Federal Communications Law Journal. 61(1): 1-79.

KELLOGG INSIGHT

Explore leading research and ideas

Find articles, podcast episodes, and videos that spark ideas in lifelong learners, and inspire those looking to advance in their careers.
learn more

COURSE CATALOG

Review Courses & Schedules

Access information about specific courses and their schedules by viewing the interactive course scheduler tool.
LEARN MORE

DEGREE PROGRAMS

Discover the path to your goals

Whether you choose our Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA program, you’ll enjoy the same unparalleled education, exceptional faculty and distinctive culture.
learn more

Take Action