Is Powell Fiddling While Telecom Melts?

The FCC chairman's hands-off approach may no longer be the appropriate one for the battered sector

No industry has been more battered by financial woes and corporate scandal than telecom. Companies like WorldCom and Global Crossing have come to symbolize high-tech high jinks and accounting gimmicks. But while regulators such as Securities & Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey L. Pitt and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission boss Patrick H. Wood III morph from corporate puppies to aggressive watchdogs, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael K. Powell seems to be sticking with the kinder, gentler approach.

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