Dale Hatfield Scholars and Research Program: Summer Internship at the Federal Communications Commission

Report from recipient of this year’s Dale Hatfield Scholarship, Sonal Lamba Malhotra, who spent the summer at the FCC.

I received the Dale Hatfield Scholarship this summer and had the opportunity to work for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in their Wireless Bureau in the Spectrum and Competition Policy Division in Washington D.C. The Spectrum and Competition Policy Division (SCPD) is responsible for formulating and implementing spectrum, competition, and infrastructure policies that promote access to and efficient use of radio spectrum for wireless communications and encourage competition in the telecommunications marketplace. I was a part of some very exhilarating projects during the course of my internship. While I was there, the SCPD was drafting the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for a major issue. I helped in drafting and editing the NPRM. Additionally, I analyzed and researched the competition in the wireless market and prepared a report, part of which was included in the proposed NPRM. Furthermore, I attended Senate hearings on the Consumer Wireless Experience and presented a report to the Wireless Bureau.

I also had the opportunity to work on the proceeding for the National Broadband Plan, which is currently the top priority for the Commission. In this project, I helped in summarizing the Comments filed by various stakeholders. After summarizing, I helped in organizing the Open Network Section for the Plan. I also assisted in summarizing the Reply Comments for this proceeding.

I attended various training programs organized for interns, which included topics like the National Telcom Act of 1996, Intercarrier Compensation, Economic Regulation, and the National Broadband Plan. These training programs provided me with in-depth knowledge of some of the Telecom policies and also gave me the opportunity to interact with FCC’s employees directly involved in drafting these policies.

My academic plans include a specialization in the regulation/policy aspect of Telecommunications. Working with FCC as an intern provided me the insight and knowledge needed to successfully excel in my field. I offer my sincerest thanks for the generous support of Professor Hatfield, Professor Weiser, Anna Noschese and Jill Van Matre for helping me secure this incomparable opportunity and to all the generous donors of the Dale Hatfield Scholars and Research Program.

Know What’s Next