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New Directions in Federal Telecom Policies Presentation by Professor Robert G. Harris California Conference of Public Utility Counsel Monterey, CA October.

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Presentation on theme: "New Directions in Federal Telecom Policies Presentation by Professor Robert G. Harris California Conference of Public Utility Counsel Monterey, CA October."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Directions in Federal Telecom Policies Presentation by Professor Robert G. Harris California Conference of Public Utility Counsel Monterey, CA October 5, 2009

2 Triangle of Telecom Policy-Making Agencies Regulatory Policy: FCC Antitrust & Competition Policy: FTC & DOJ Promotional Policy: NTIA/Commerce & RUS/DOA (Broadband Stimulus)

3 In the Shadow of the Law: The Role of the Courts Reviewing, overturning FCC regulatory decisions (UNE-P) Restricting application of antitrust laws in private enforcement actions (Trinko, LinkLine)

4 Regulation and Antitrust as Substitutes and as Complements Will Court decisions limiting reach of antitrust laws cause policy-makers to use regulatory instruments instead? Will Courts limit use of regulatory intervention (e.g. sale of wireless spectrum not subject to “net neutrality”)?

5 Major Forces of Change The “Wave” Effect (cross-industry tendencies) Deregulation of 1970’s-80’s Reregulation of ?

6 Major Forces of Change Personnel FCC: Genachowsi DOJ: Varney FTC: Leibowitz NTIA: Strickling Agenda for Change Activist Philosophical Approach

7 Major Forces of Change Cooperative Institutional Relationships Broadband: NTIA stimulus grants, FCC “broadband policy” Exclusive handset agreements (Apple-AT&T): DOJ, FCC

8 Major Forces of Change Continuing shift toward Federal v state policy-making Digital convergence across content and media Globalization of communications and information services Federal fiscal policy (stimulus)

9 Major Areas & Issues of Potential Change

10 Antitrust, Competition Policy & Consumer Protection More aggressive merger enforcement Testing the limits of Sherman Section 2 monopolization cases Use of consumer protection provisions of Section 5 Use of antitrust enforcement to protect against “patent holdup”

11 Regulatory Policy Net neutrality (Regulating VOIP, GoogleVoice?) Wireless competition Public subsidies to broadband investment Universal service: expand to wireless? broadband? Industry consolidation (e.g. cable systems, wireless)

12 Telecom as an “Enabler” Health Care: remote service delivery, digitization of records Education: connecting schools to broadband, learning “at home” Energy: smart grid


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