The FCC has already made some moves to revamp telecom. There was USF reform, funding for broadband, elimination of a lot of regulations, pilot test with Vonage on direct DID access and the TDM-to-IP migration.
The Broadband money (NTIA, BIP, BTOP) as well as the Lifeline (Obama phone) program has seen its share of abuses, but billion dollar programs will do that. The FCC needs to tighten that up.
The USF funds for Connect America have been dispersed - except for 30% which is being disputed. The carriers came out swinging for the broadband map. Some called satellite and fixed wireless broadband systems inadequate. It got a little ugly. Tables got turned as 5 carriers await the results of a dispute as competitors have said that broadband is being delivered in the areas that CAF money was going. Oops! Lots of areas for the FCC to tighten up the reins. This same pile of money pays for E-rate Internet in schools and libraries and rural healthcare, especially tele-medicine.
Probably the FCC's biggest responsibility is the spectrum. Mobility is eating the world, just ask anyone (including Fred Wilson). But a majority of the spectrum is in the hands of just 3 companies. Kind of crazy. There's a couple of auctions coming up. Some of the last available spectrum -- which is the prime real estate for all things wireless and mobile. The FCC needs to safeguard this spectrum so that more than 3 companies have some.
Meanwhile, the House of Reps is calling for a telecom act re-write. "They envision a multi-year effort that will start next year with a series of hearings and white papers next year." It should be great. (sarcasm btw).
There is a lot on the new FCC chairman's plate. Plus dealing with Congress. He basically is residing over the engine of the economy -- Internet and mobility - the two sectors driving the economy right now.
Meanwhile, as the traditional telecom world rapidly shifts, competitors that don't own network - wireline or wireless - need to figure out how to navigate the opportunities popping up as other ones close.