Broadband One: Should All Providers Be Regulated the Same? April 18, 2002
Experts Debate the Current Role of Regulatory Policy in the Future of Broadband
First of a Three-Part Broadband Series, "Supply, Demand and the Role of Regulatory Policy," Hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee
Washington, D.C. April 18, 2002 - The Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee today kicked off a Broadband Policy Series with an examination of whether all providers of high speed Internet should receive the same regulatory treatment. The discussion focused on whether the 1996 Telecommunications Act requirements should apply to Bell companies' high speed and broadband services. The broadband series will continue with additional events on rights of way and consumer broadband demand issues.
The expert panel of high technology representatives and consumer advocates debated the regulatory scheme and whether the history of the Bell telephone system and its position in the marketplace require a regulatory change.
Susan Lynner, the panel moderator from Prudential Securities, kicked off the event introducing the panelists and the diverse views that were to be debated. One of the prominent topics debated was who should make the regulatory decisions Congress or FCC? Tim Hugo of CapNet and Gary Shapiro of Consumer Electronics Association fell on either side of this debate. Hugo stated, "Congress should not cede their legislative prerogatives to unelected officials. If the unelected officials of the FCC wish to legislate, they should consider running for Congress." On the contrary, Shapiro's statements argued that the FCC should act, unshackle and encourage new investments.
The series is hosted by the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee in conjunction with the Internet Caucus and its Co-Chairs, Senators Leahy and Burns and Congressmen Goodlatte and Boucher. The Broadband Task Force of the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee is chaired by Larry Clinton, Wallman & Associates and Rick Cimmerman, National Cable & Telecommunications Association.
About the Internet Caucus Advisory Committee www.netcaucus.org
The Advisory Committee to the Internet Caucus is a diverse group of public interest, non-profit and industry groups working to educate the Congress and the public about important Internet-related policy issues. With participation from Members of the Caucus and logistical support from the Internet Education Foundation, the Advisory Committee hosts regular forums to discuss important Internet-related policy issues. Since its founding, the Advisory Committee has built a membership of over 190 organizations from a broad cross-section of the public interest community and the Internet industry. Additional information, including an updated membership list, is available at http://www.netcaucus.org.