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55 Federal Communications Law Journal 207 (2003)


This Article assesses the viability of different vertical regulatory regimes in an increasingly convergent environment. It reviews several FCC proceedings that have generated opportunities for stakeholders to avoid regulatory parity by qualifying for reduced regulation based on service definitions. It also considers whether a horizontal regulatory approach can reduce the number of regulatory asymmetries and inconsistencies. The Author concludes that although a horizontal regulatory structure may not secure sufficient political support because of the risk of extending new burdens on previously unregulated activities, that type of structure makes better sense in a convergent, increasingly Internet-dominated marketplace and provides a more intelligent model than the existing vertical orientation that creates unsustainable service and regulatory distinctions.