Commercial drones have taken off in other countries. Thousands of drone companies operate legally under simple safety rules in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. These companies use drones to deliver emergency medications, to monitor farms, drilling areas and construction sites and to film movies and news. By contrast, the FAA has approved a mere 10 commercial drones operators in the U.S.
In July, Amazon asked the FAA for permission to test its drones in a rural area outside Seattle. Regulators responded in October with a long list of questions, including this doozy: “Why granting your request would be in the public interest; that is, how it would benefit the public as a whole. What data or analysis supports Amazon’s position that aerial delivery is in the interest of the American public?”
For that matter, had the FCC still had the power to protect AT&T’s monopoly when Steve Jobs proposed an iPhone, he’d have been disconnected .