Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

55 Federal Communications Law Journal 1 (2002)


Multiyear regulatory commitments, or their absence, are an important part of the functioning of the telecommunications services and products industries. In this Article, Warren G. Lavey argues that, under some conditions, it is both possible and beneficial for regulators to commit to a well-defined, multiyear sequence of regulatory changes. First, this Article examines several examples of how efforts for comprehensive reform fared in real multiyear implementations. It also explores how some piecemeal regulatory changes evolved into efforts for comprehensive reform based on a well-defined sequence. This Article considers the effects of multiyear regulatory promises through analysis of several regulatory actions involving telecommunications carriers in Mexico, Venezuela, Hungary, and the United States. The Article then presents two conclusions about making and keeping regulatory promises-regarding procedures and benefits-and analyzes an example of a multiyear promise in the United States with too much uncertainty about timing, carriers' obligations, and regulatory standards. Lastly, the Article summarizes the conclusions and recommendations for promoting greater use of multiyear regulatory plans.