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DSL Reports says the FCC has hired a new chief economist with a history of cheerleading broadband usage caps for the cable industry.

According to the FCC, they’ve hired Steven Wildman, an economist and professor at Michigan State University, as the agency’s new chief economist.

In a statement, FCC boss Julius Genachowski insists that Wildman will help the agency by applying “his deep economic expertise and problem solving abilities daily to our most challenging initiatives.”

Except Wildman just got done penning a National Cable & Telecommunications Association paper supporting the industry’s use of punitive caps and costly per-byte overages. “…The effects of well-designed [usage-based pricing] plans on consumers are likely to be beneficial, as are the effects of UBP on investments in the broadband infrastructure,” insisted Wildman in the cable industry sponsored paper (pdf).

Wildman will take over as Chief Economist from Marius Schwartz, who is returning to his prior role as a Professor of Economics at Georgetown University.

“Wildman’s hiring is troubling for an agency that has already utterly refused to seriously address the anti-competitive impact of usage caps and high overage pricing”, concludes Karl Bode of DSL Reports.

Wildman is co-editor of The Journal of Media Economics and is the co-author or co-editor of five books, including Video Economics and Making Universal Service Policy, and numerous articles on economics and policy for communication industries.

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