Toward a Competitive Telecommunication Industry: Selected Papers from the 1994 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference

Toward a Competitive Telecommunication Industry: Selected Papers from the 1994 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference

Toward a Competitive Telecommunication Industry: Selected Papers from the 1994 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference

Toward a Competitive Telecommunication Industry: Selected Papers from the 1994 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference

Synopsis

Providing an authoritative perspective on the best current research regarding telecommunication policy, this book is based on the 22nd Annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conference. The papers focus on the critical policy issues created by increasing competition in the industry. The book contains a careful analysis of local competition and interconnection, international competition, universal service issues, the Internet and emerging new methods of communication, and the first amendment problems created by changing telecommunication technology.

It brings together -- in a convenient form -- a wide range of important scholarship on telecommunication policy that otherwise would require extensive research into a variety of journals, government filings, and unpublished papers.

Excerpt

Pamela Samuelson University of Pittsburgh

On behalf of the organizing committee for the 22nd Annual Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (TPRC), I am pleased to introduce you to the printed edition of selected papers presented at this conference.

1994 was an unusually rich year for telecommunications policy initiatives and research. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had undertaken some important new projects, such as a plan for auctioning the spectrum for personal communication services. The U.S. Congress was considering a major revision to the Communications Act of 1934 that would have dramatically altered the telecommunication regulatory landscape. State regulatory agencies were experimenting with a number of new approaches to traditional telecommunication regulation. On an international scale, countries that had previously maintained telecommunication services as state monopolies were considering opening up these services to competition. In the United States, a number of major telecommunication firms had announced mergers with other major players in the communications field, raising antitrust concerns in the minds of many.

Seemingly dwarfing all of these important telecommunication initiatives was the Clinton administration's National Information Infrastructure (NII) initiative and its formation of the NII Task Force, as well as a number of policy working groups (such as the one on privacy and the one on intellectual property rights) under the Task Force's jurisdiction and an Advisory Council of industry and policy leaders to provide input on the NII projects.

The plethora of important telecommunication policy initiatives in 1994 made the job of the organizing committee for TPRC easier in one sense and harder in another. The easy part was brainstorming about the kinds of sessions that the organizing committee thought should be offered at the TPRC in 1994. The hard part was deciding which of the many desirable sessions could actually fit within the constraints of the 2-day schedule and limiting the number of presenters and commentators so that there was adequate time for audience participation and general discussion. Also difficult was scheduling the paper sessions in multiple tracks.

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