Telecom and Broadband Policy

Date and Time
November 14, 2002 9 AM - 3:30 PM EST
Hayek Auditorium

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The American telecommunications sector went into afreefall in 2002. Telecom stocks tanked as onceproud industry giants and smaller carriers alike werefinancially decimated. Numerous providers were forced todeclare bankruptcy. And the reverberations were felt wellbeyond the boundaries of the telecom sector as upstreamand downstream industries took a hit as well.

What were the causes of this market meltdown? Was it driven purely by misguided corporate decisionmaking and bad business models, or is public policy more to blame? The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was supposed to rejuvenate this sector by encouraging increased competition, innovation and investment, but most industry watchers have been dissatisfied with the sluggish pace of change.

This conference will explore recent developments in thetelecommunications sector and feature a set of balanceddebates over the future of both wireline and wireless publicpolicy.

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8:00–8:30 a.m. Registration–F.A. Hayek Auditorium Foyer
8:30–8:40 a.m. Welcoming Remarks
Adam D. Thierer
Director of Telecommunications Studies, Cato Institute

Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.
Director of Technology Policy, Cato Institute

8:40–9:30 a.m. Morning Keynote Address

Howard Waltzman
Counsel, House Energy and Commerce Committee

Introduction: Adam D. Thierer, Cato Institute

Part One: Wireline
9:30–10:30 a.m. Panel 1
The Telecom Market Meltdown:
Causes and Consequences

Moderator: Adam D. Thierer
Cato Institute

Larry Darby
Founder and President, Darby Associates

Robert Gensler
Vice President, Portfolio Manager and Investment Analyst, T. Rowe Price

Anton Wahlman
Research Analyst in Broadband Access Technology, Needham & Co.

John Wohlstetter
Senior Fellow for Technology & Society, Discovery Institute

10:30–10:45 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Panel 2
What Vision Will Govern Broadband? Deregulation, Open Access, or Structural Separation?

Moderator: Clyde Wayne Crews Jr.
Cato Institute

Peter Jew
Vice President of Marketing, Optical Solutions

James K. Glassman
Host, Tech Central Station, and Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

John Ryan
Principal, Chief Analyst, and Cofounder, RHK Telecommunications Industry Analysis

Robert W. Crandall
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution

Fred L. Smith Jr.
Founder and President, Competitive Enterprise Institute

12:00–12:45 p.m. Lunch—Wintergarden
Part Two: Wireless
12:45–1:15 p.m. Luncheon Keynote Address

Hon. Kathleen Abernathy
Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission

Introduction: Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., Cato Institute

1:15–2:30 p.m. Panel 3
The Future of Spectrum Governance:Property Rights or a Spectrum Commons?

Moderator: Adam D. Thierer
Cato Institute

Yochai Benkler
Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

David Reed
Systems Designer and Researcher

Thomas W. Hazlett
Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

Gerald Faulhaber
Professor of Public Policy and Management, University of Pennsylvania

Rudy Baca
Vice President and Global Strategist, Precursor Group

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Speakers include Hon. Kathleen Abernathy, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission; Howard Waltzman, Counsel, House Energy and Commerce Committee; James K. Glassman, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; and Robert W. Crandall, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution.