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Third, under a new law, the FCC should be required to favor narrowly tailored remedial orders over broad proscriptions developed in anticipatory rule-making proceedings. The agency would be required to determine whether service providers subject to individual complaints possess demonstrable market power that should be constrained in some targeted way. This would help avoid the burdensome overregulation that frequently results now when, in generic rule-making proceedings, the agency attempts to anticipate potential harms that may well never materialize.

Surely there are other approaches that should be considered as well. For now, it is just important the legislative reform process get started.

Of course, the review needs to be deliberative, and Mr. Upton, Michigan Republican, and Mr. Walden, Oregon Republican, apparently envision a multiyear effort. But given the competitive changes that already have occurred in the communications marketplace — and that continue to occur at a rapid pace — deliberative should not be allowed to turn into never-ending.

Randolph J. May is president of the Free State Foundation, an independent free-market-oriented think tank based in Rockville.