15. How does Michigan regulate telecommunications?

The Michigan Telecommunications Act

Michigan’s telecommunications law was last revised in 2002, and it sunsets on Dec. 31, 2005. In many respects, state law mirrors the federal emphasis on “managing” competition in the telecommunications market. Consequently, the Michigan act prescribes access requirements, price controls and service restrictions that actually contradict the act’s stated purpose of “encourag(ing) competition to determine the availability, prices, terms, and other conditions of providing telecommunication services.”[30]

To their credit, Michigan lawmakers recognized that advances in technology and the concomitant changes in the telecom industry warranted an overhaul of state law. Whereas past regulation was structured to control monopoly service providers, burgeoning competition has rendered such regulation obsolete. But as well-intentioned as lawmakers may have been, the legislated result was not entirely successful.