Interconnection and the Internet: Selected Papers from the 1996 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference

Interconnection and the Internet: Selected Papers from the 1996 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference

Interconnection and the Internet: Selected Papers from the 1996 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference

Interconnection and the Internet: Selected Papers from the 1996 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference

Synopsis

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Federal Communications Commission's Local Competition Order are just two examples of the continuing monumental and far-reaching changes occurring throughout the telecommunications industry. At the 1996 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC) -- an annual forum for dialogue among scholars and the policymaking community on a wide range of telecommunications issues -- leading industry and academic researchers presented results of their research and insights in key areas of activity, including:

• interconnection and competition;

• Internet growth and commerce;

• Internet regulation and control; and

• the political economy of telecommunications regulation.

The best of the 1996 TPRC papers are included here, representing the forefront of research in the telecommunications industry. The third in an annual LEA series of volumes based on this important conference, this collection reflects the rapid economic, technological, and social development of telecommunications. It also reflects the current state of research thinking on this issue and provides a foundation for further telecommunications policy analysis.

Excerpt

On behalf of the organizing committee, I welcome you to this volume of selected papers from the 24th annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC). It was my honor and pleasure to serve as chair of the conference organizing committee.

The tprc is an annual forum for dialogue among scholars and the policymaking community on a wide range of telecommunications issues. the conference was begun in 1972 as a small gathering of researchers from the government and academic communities. Since then, it has grown and matured to reflect the rapid development--and the growing influence--of policy-relevant telecommunications research from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. the tprc is widely regarded to be the premier telecommunications policy research event in the United States.

It would be hard to imagine a more interesting and exciting time to hold the tprc than October 1996, when the meeting from which the papers in this book are selected took place. the February passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and the Federal Communications Commission's subsequent implementation orders, inspired two plenary sessions and a preconference tutorial. These policy events were also the subject or the backdrop of a large number of papers presented in the 16 regular conference sessions. Another plenary session involved Internet censorship issues in the wake of the District Court's overturning of Title V (the Communications Decency Act) of the 1996 Act. Internet-related research paper presentations--concerning online speech, Internet pricing and architecture issues, electronic commerce, and other subjects--have grown enormously as a proportion of the full conference in the past 2 or 3 years. Other regular session papers at the 1996 tprc reflected recent policy, business, and research develop-

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