Telecom and Broadband Policy

November 14, 2002
9:00AM to 3:30PM EST
Hayek Auditorium
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.

Media Archives
Real Audio: Morning Session, Afternoon Session

The American telecommunications sector went into a freefall in 2002. Telecom stocks tanked as once proud industry giants and smaller carriers alike were financially decimated. Numerous providers were forced to declare bankruptcy. And the reverberations were felt well beyond the boundaries of the telecom sector as upstream and 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 the telecommunications sector and feature a set of balanced debates over the future of both wireline and wireless public policy.

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