Koichiro HAYASHI (Professor, Keio University, and Senior Research Fellow, GLOCOM)
First, I would like to express appreciation for Keidanren's proposal for a New Communication Law (published late last year), which can be regarded as a forward-looking and innovative proposal to shift our paradigm from "how to regulate operators" to "how to promote competition"
This proposal may also be regarded as quite responsive to changing times in this field, sharing a number of points almost simultaneously proposed by the Council of Industrial Structure, the Fair Trade Commission and the IT Promotion Headquarters. Those points include:
1. Proposal to move from the exiting regulations of the vertical integration type to "horizontal separation."
2. Proposal to move from industry-specific regulations to inter-industrial "general competition laws."
3. Proposal to move to regulations by an independent administrative commission.
However, there seem to be a number of points that need to be improved further from my point of view, as I have been working on my own proposal in this field.
1. It is called "a New Communications Law," but it is in effect a new electric telecommunications law, and lacks a concrete proposal as to how to deal with broadcasting law.
2. While it is appropriate to emphasize the need for transition from "how to regulate operators" to "how to promote competition," it is not clear how to deal with telecommunications networks set up by users themselves. This could have a significant impact when wireless LANs or other user-operating networks become important in scale.
These points are exactly what I felt when I drafted my own "Electronic Public Transmission Act" (see the URL below), and by no means decrease the value of Keidanren's proposal. We need to work together to come up with a better and more concrete proposal by comparing various ideas and sharing their respective merits.
For the Hayashi speech on this topic, see: