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Event Summary

General discussion around reclassifying and regulating broadband Internet service providers (ISPs) under Title II of the Communications Act has focused narrowly on “fast lanes” and market power while failing to capture the dynamic and complex nature of the underlying broadband ecosystem. On Wednesday, the University of Nebraska College of Law and AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy kicked off a three-day conference at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to determine how broadband regulation should proceed to encourage innovation and provide the most value to the American public.

During the first day of the conference, participants reacted to three keynote presentations on topics ranging from broadband outcomes in the G7, to the idea of progressive capitalism and its place in the broadband discussion, to the development of a theoretical understanding and framework for the Internet’s architecture. Overall themes included the nature and purpose of regulation in the broadband market, the level of compatibility between progressive frameworks and creative destruction in broadband regulation, and the role of well-defined and well-theorized architecture in encouraging innovation in the broadband space.

The participants reconvened early Thursday morning for an all-day discussion of five other presentations. The morning dialogue focused on ISP interconnection agreements — specifically, how they should be regulated and how full-disclosure mandates can encourage anticompetitive pricing. The lunch conversation centered on OTT regulation and its potential to affect nascent and dynamic products such as cable and online video. Topics addressed during the afternoon sessions included free speech in the age of municipal broadband networks, policy implications of the emerging Internet of things, and the extent to which the FCC is capable of producing nonarbitrary rules to maximize broadband deployment.
The final day of the conference aimed to summarize the ideas introduced throughout the event by posing a series of questions to address going forward:

•    What is the ultimate role of the FCC in broadband regulation? Are there limits to its responsibilities? How can it best coexist with antitrust law?
•    What does today’s Internet actually do? Where is value ultimately created, and what should the corresponding cost structure look like?
•    Where does innovation come from and how can it be encouraged and protected?

–Evelyn Smith

Event Description

The ongoing evolution of the broadband ecosystem is changing both the shape of the industry and how we think about regulating it. In mid-September, AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy and the University of Nebraska College of Law will cosponsor a three-day conference at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to highlight the latest academic thinking on broadband regulation and to give regulators the opportunity to interact with leading scholars in the field. The conference will feature presentations of seven academic papers, commentary from policy experts and regulators, and plenary sessions. Abstracts of the papers can be found in the agenda section below.

During the first afternoon of the conference, which will be open to the public, senior FCC management and other representatives will review some of the policy challenges that the transition to a ubiquitous Internet protocol–based broadband network poses.

The second and third day will feature presentations of the academic papers in a small-group setting. Although space is quite limited, those wishing to observe the academic discussions should contact [email protected] by September 3 and will be notified of availability by September 8.

To foster a candid discussion of work in the early stages of development, workshop sessions will be conducted under the Chatham House Rule (participants are free to use information received in the meeting but may not reveal the identity or affiliation of any speaker or other participant, except to the extent required for adherence to the FCC’s ex parte regulations).


Agenda

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

12:00 PM
Registration

12:30 PM
Opening remarks:
Tim Brennan, Federal Communications Commission
Jon Chambers, Federal Communications Commission
Jonathan Levy, Federal Communications Commission

1:15 PM
Keynote I: Broadband regulation across the G7
Richard Bennett, AEI
Abstract, Presentation

Discussants:
Robert Crandall, Brookings Institution
Bronwyn Howell, Victoria University
Presentation

Moderator:
Roslyn Layton, Aalborg University

2:30 PM
Keynote II: The digital past as prologue: The combination of active public policy and private investment in the crowning achievement of progressive American capitalism
Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America
Abstract, Presentation

Discussants:
Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Hudson Institute
Nicole Turner-Lee, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council

Moderator:
Babette Boliek, Pepperdine University

3:45 PM
Keynote III: Past performance does not guarantee future results: Toward a dynamic theory of network architecture and regulation
Christopher Yoo, University of Pennsylvania
Abstract, Presentation

Discussants:
Erik Bohlin, Telecommunications Policy
Gene Kimmelman, Public Knowledge

Moderator:
Gus Hurwitz, University of Nebraska

5:00 PM
Adjournment
 
Thursday, September 11, 2014

8:45 AM
Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM
Opening remarks:
Jeffrey Eisenach, AEI

9:10 AM
Presentation: Regulatory intervention in Internet service provider interconnection disputes
Robert Frieden, Penn State University
Abstract, Presentation

Discussants:
Harold Feld, Public Knowledge
Tom Lenard, Technology Policy Institute

Moderator:
Jeffrey Eisenach, AEI

10:30 AM
Presentation: The perils of Internet interconnection disclosure
Daniel Lyons, Boston College
Abstract, Presentation

Discussants:
Mark Jamison, University of Florida
Geoff Manne, International Center for Law and Economics

Moderator:
Bronwyn Howell, Victoria University

12:00 PM
Luncheon discussion: OTT regulation

Discussants:
Lee McKnight, Syracuse University
David Waterman, Indiana University

Moderator:
Gus Hurwitz, University of Nebraska
Presentation

1:10 PM
Presentation: Government-provided Internet access: Terms of service as speech rules
Enrique Armijo, Elon University
Abstract, Presentation

Discussants:
Jason Llorenz, Rutgers University
Randy May, Free State Foundation

Moderator:
James K. Glassman, AEI

2:30 PM
Presentation: The Internet of things and wearable technology
Adam Thierer, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Abstract, Presentation

Discussants:
Janice Hauge, University of North Texas
Kate Matraves, Federal Communications Commission
Will Rinehart, American Action Forum

Moderator:
Bret Swanson, Entropy Economics

3:45 PM
Presentation: The FCC’s Open Internet notice of proposed rulemaking and the close of utility regulation
Adam Candeub, Michigan State University College of Law
Abstract, Presentation

Discussants:
Tejas Narechania, Columbia University
Brent Skorup, Mercatus Center at George Mason University
Berin Szoka, Tech Freedom

Moderator:
Shane Tews, AEI

5:00 PM
Adjournment

Friday, September 12, 2014

8:30 AM
Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM
Plenary roundtable

10:30 AM
Adjournment

 


Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Guro Ekrann at [email protected], 202.862.5882.


Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

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