The telecommunications industry has outgrown federal regulations
imposed upon it during the last century, says the new president of
SBC Oklahoma. Donald Cain took over as president of SBC Oklahoma
on Oct. 20. Upon his appointment, Cain said one of his main goals is
to provide Oklahomans with the most advanced technology and to help
make the state an economic draw for high-tech companies.
A native of the Texas Panhandle city of Pampa, Cain earned a
bachelor's degree from McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, in
1976, and taught history and psychology at Pampa High School and the
Dallas Academy before joining SBC.
Cain has been with SBC for 24 years, beginning in 1979 in the
company's customer-focused network services organization and moving
on to several positions dealing with customer service, regulatory
and external affairs. Cain headed the legislative and regulatory
team in South Africa, representing SBC's interest in Telkom South
Africa, from 1997 to 2000.
Prior to his present position as president of SBC Oklahoma, Cain
served more than three years as SBC's managing director of federal
regulatory policy in Washington, D.C.
According to Cain, many of the regulations that were originally
designed to help the consumer now do the consumer more harm than
good. Over-regulation discourages investment in research and
development, which in turn cripples the entire economy, he said.
Many of the rules that currently govern the telecommunications
industry went into effect in the early 1980s, noted Cain. (SBC
controlled) 83 percent of the access lines in the state, he said.
Today, with the advent of cellular phones, e-mail and other
communications options, SBC possesses less than 40 percent of the
Regulation is supposed to substitute for competition in a
monopoly market, said Cain. Well, the competition is here. It's time
to let the market work.
Fears that deregulation would cause prices to skyrocket have been
proved unfounded in the past, noted Cain. For instance, the cost of
high-speed DSL Internet access has become less expensive since
broadband services have been deregulated.
But SBC is still saddled with a number of outdated regulations,
Cain said. As the incumbent carrier, we continue to get regulated as
if it's still the 1980s, said Cain. We need the ability to have the
same freedom our competitors do.
Cain pointed to the railroad industry as an example. …