Navigating the Turbulent Seas of 21st Century Markets in a 20th Century Boat: How to Keep the Winds of Regulation from Creating a Perfect Storm.

Harisha Bastiampillai, Senior Attorney, Qwest Law Department, USA

If regulation is the raison d’être of the regulatory counsel, then positive regulatory change is its joie de vivre. In fact, deregulation to a regulatory counsel is somewhat like a sunny day to a weatherperson; while he may not have forecasted it, he will certainly reap the benefits of it. But conversely, the gloomy pall of an unexpected negative regulatory development will focus ire on the counsel from the impacted part of the company; again regardless of the forecast. The years since the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (“1996 Act”) have been quite turbulent for incumbent local exchange carriers’ (“ILECs”) regulatory counsel. These counsel have had to navigate their companies through mandatory unbundling of virtually their entire networks, application for entry into the long distance market (for Bell Operating Companies), and deregulation of broadband. And just when it seemed that some certainty could be ascribed to broadband regulation, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) is intimating that it is considering reversing course on its treatment of broadband.

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USA Regulation Telecommunications July 2010 Vol. 3, No. 12, Summer 2010

Harisha Bastiampillai


Harisha Bastiampillai is a Senior Attorney in the Qwest Law Department where he works on federal regulatory matters including those pertaining to broadband and competition. Harisha has also worked on Wholesale Interconnection matters at Qwest. Prior to his work at Qwest, Harisha was a Senior Associate at Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman LLP (now part of Bingham McCutchen LLP) where he represented competitive local exchange carriers on regulatory, litigation and appellate matters. Harisha is a 1992 graduate of Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and served on the Columbia Human Rights Law Review where he was an editor of The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual. Harisha received his Bachelor’s degree in 1989 from The Johns Hopkins University where he became a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Qwest Communications International Inc.


Qwest Communications International Inc. (Qwest), is a national and global provider of data, Internet, video and voice services. The Company operates its business in the 14-state region of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Qwest operates in three segments: business markets, mass markets and wholesale markets. The Company's products and services are provided using its telecommunications network, which consists of voice and data switches, copper cables, fiber optic broadband cables and other equipment. The majority of the Company's network is located in its local service area.

USA Regulation Telecommunications July 2010 Vol. 3, No. 12, Summer 2010

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