Sprint Executive: US Telecom Industry Needs Supportive Regulation

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The telecommunications industry in the U.S. needs a lighter, more supportive, regulatory touch from the government, according to Sprint Nextel Chief Operating Officer Len Lauer.

“I hope that, in five years, we can still say that the government has played a supportive role,” Lauer said during a keynote speech at the CTIA Wireless trade show Wednesday morning.

At the same time, Lauer said he was seeking more government involvement with the issue of special access – or the high-capacity lines used by large businesses. Verizon Communications recently won regulatory relief in how much it can charge fellow phone companies for access to those lines to serve their own corporate customers.


Lauer said he wanted to make sure pricing remains competitive, “and not dominated by two major companies,” referring to Verizon and AT&T, the other Bell that will likely seek similar relief.

Lauer also said the industry should be seeking a uniform, federal law on the wireless industry, rather than have the companies operate under 50 different sets of laws in 50 states.

The industry is also seeking relief on the taxes it pays – Lauer noted that consumers pay higher taxes on only alcohol and tobacco.