White Paper | Communications Policy Approaches and COVID-19: Ensuring Access to Effective, Reliable, and Affordable Communications Services
In April 2020, we wrote a white paper exploring considerations for utility regulators dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their rate regulated utilities, especially focusing on state regulated electric and natural gas companies. In that paper, our central conclusion was that utility regulators should both support customers impacted by the crisis while also ensuring the stability of the necessary services utilities provide, and we noted that similar conclusions may apply to other network services like communications.
Here, we turn our attention specifically to communications networks to distinguish why the policy response for COVID-19 should be different from that taken for regulated utilities. In doing so, our narrow focus is on how COVID-19 customer-protection measures for communications should differ from those employed for regulated utilities because of the fundamental differences between the two.