Federal Communications Law Journal

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Publication Date


Publication Citation

54 Federal Communications Law Journal 225 (2002)


This Article argues that some generalized interconnection rules are broadly appropriate. Specifically, some lessons learned from the ancient regime of common carrier regulation provide the appropriate regulatory foundation for the modern Internet. Since at least the middle ages, most significant carriers of communications and commerce have been regulated as common carriers. Common carrier rules have resolved the disputed issues of duty to serve, nondiscrimination, and interconnection. These were the problems of seventeenth-century ferry owners and innkeepers, eighteenth-century steamships, nineteenth-century railroads, and twentieth-century telephone networks. They are similar to the problems of the twenty-first-century Internet, and similar rules can govern its evolution as well.