Re-Examining the Role of State and Local Governments in Telecom Regulation

Tags: Technology Policy

In enacting the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress did not consider carefully the role that states and localities should play in telecommunications regulation. Over the past ten years, rounds of litigation and technological change have undermined and challenged the basic premises of the jurisdictional framework set forth in the Communications Act of 1934. Under this historic framework, the protection of state and local autonomy remained paramount values whereas the emerging technological landscape-characterized by services provided over broadband and wireless networks-calls out for a harmonious nationwide regulatory system.

The challenge of designing a new regulatory architecture for telecommunications regulation presents Congress is one of several it will confront as it considers changes to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. To assist Congress in this undertaking, the Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) has chartered a Digital Age Communications Act (DACA) project that, among other things, is developing a proposed new statutory framework to govern the role of state and local authorities in telecommunications regulation. At this conference, the drafters of this framework will present their conclusions and a series of leaders in government, academia, and industry will comment on their recommendations.


Welcome and Overview
  • Randy May
    Chair, Digital Age Communications Act
Presentation of DACA Jurisdictional Working Group
  • Kyle Dixon
    Vice President, Public Policy, Time Warner, Inc.

The Role of Localities
  • Ken Fellman
    Former Mayor, Arvada, Colorado
  • Tom Nathan
    Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Comcast Cable
  • Mark Williams
    Partner, Sherman & Howard, LLC
  • Link Hoewing
    Assistant Vice President - Internet and Technology Issues, Verizon
The Big Picture
  • Raymond Gifford
    Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP
  • James B. Speta
    Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Paul Teske
    Dean, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado at Denver
  • Jessica Zufolo
    Senior Policy Director, Medley Global Advisors
The Role of States in Telecommunications Regulation
  • Bob Atkinson
    Executive Director, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
  • Steve Davis
    Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Government Relations, CenturyLink
  • T. Scott Thompson
    Partner, Cole, Raywid & Braverman
  • Barry Smitherman
    Commissioner, Texas Public Utilities Commission

Know What’s Next