MENU

Telecommunications

Commissioner Ajit Pai on the FCC Television Set-Top Box Proposal - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Ajit V. Pai, Alexander Okuliar July 01, 2016

In this teleforum, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai talked about the FCC’s proposed rulemaking to transform the pay television industry and competition for the television set-top boxes sitting in millions of homes across the country. The proposed rule seeks to unbundle the sale of programming from the sale of set-top boxes. The FCC wants third party technology companies to “build devices or software solutions that can navigate the universe of multichannel video programming with a competitive user interface.” The proposal has sparked tremendous debate among pay-television providers, technology companies, state and federal lawmakers, the Administration, and others. Advocates for the proposal think it could spur competition and unlock value for consumers with better and cheaper solutions for accessing video programming. Others believe the Commission’s proposal interferes with free market forces, creates more problems than it solves, and could compromise consumer privacy.

What is the FCC’s proposal? What are the implications for consumer privacy, advertising, and free market competition? Is a compromise possible? Commissioner Pai will explore these and other issues in this important teleforum, explain his dissent to the proposal, and offer us his vision for moving forward.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Ajit V. Pai, Federal Communications Commission
  • Interviewer: Alexander P. Okuliar, Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Net Neutrality Survives D.C. Circuit Challenge: U.S. Telecom Association v. FCC - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Brett A. Shumate, Adam J. White June 20, 2016

On Wednesday, June 14, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial reclassification of broadband internet service as a telecommunications service subject to common carrier regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. The case, which many observers believe may ultimately end up before the United States Supreme Court, touches on major questions about the Communications Act, as well as First Amendment issues and larger administrative law controversies, including Chevron deference. Our experts discussed all of these angles and the outlook for the case going forward.

Featuring:

  • Brett A. Shumate, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Adam J. White, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution

Should the government be able to read your emails?

Short Video on Private Servers and the 4th Amendment in the Information Age featuring Amy Peikoff
Amy Peikoff February 10, 2016

Southwestern Law School’s Visiting Associate Professor Amy Peikoff explains the Third Party Doctrine of the Supreme Court’s Fourth Amendment Doctrine. Under the Third Party Doctrine, the government does not need a warrant in order to obtain information entrusted to a third party, such as a bank, cell phone company, or email server. Thus, individuals who utilize their personal server for email may effectively keep their emails private while those using a commercial email server such as gmail do not have the same privacy.

Telecommunications Transactions and the Public Interest - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Michael J. Copps, William Rinehart, Harold Furchtgott-Roth January 29, 2016

Mergers and other transactions between large telecommunications companies are always the subject of vigorous public debate, and recent developments in the area provide an excellent opportunity to explore many of the big questions in play. What is the future of media and telecom companies in today’s vast changing technology landscape? How important is scale? How should government assess the competition and public interest benefits and threats of proposed deals? What process should be employed by what agencies? How do the principles of net neutrality play into the equation? Our experts discussed these questions and others.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Michael Copps, Special Adviser, Media and Democracy Reform Initiative, Common Cause
  • William Rinehart, Director, Technology and Innovation Policy, American Action Forum
  • Moderator: Hon. Harold Furchtgott-Roth, Director, Center for the Economics of the Internet, Hudson Institute

RESOLVED: The FCC Does Not Have the Legal Authority to Implement Net Neutrality - Event Audio/Video

18th Annual Faculty Conference
Adam Candeub, Justin (Gus) Hurwitz, Geoffrey A. Manne, James A. Speta, Daniel Lyons January 15, 2016

The FCC derives its legal authority almost entirely from statutes that predate the Internet--primarily from the 1934 Communications Act, which was designed for the regulation of a national telephone monopolist, and the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which was designed to incrementally deregulate the communications industry as the vestiges of that national monopoly gave way to competition. Over the past 20 years, the Internet has become the foundation of the communications industry, playing a role similar to that of the monopoly-provided telecommunications services that the FCC has traditionally regulated. There is unquestionably more competition today than there was in 1934, but perhaps not as much as was hoped in 1996.  The FCC’s Open Internet Order, in which the FCC brought Internet Service Providers within the regulatory framework initially created in 1934, presents a compelling example of an agency struggling to find a new role in a changed industry – struggling to imbue old statutes with broad grants of power to govern what the FCC, but perhaps not Congress, believes are issues properly within its ambit. In doing so, the Order thrusts the FCC into current debates about the scope of the administrative state, the potential revival of the major questions doctrine, and the potential demise of Chevron.  Framed by these issues, this debate will consider whether the FCC’s Open Internet Order fits within the agency’s statutory authority.

This debate took place during the 18th Annual Faculty Conference at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York, NY on January 8, 2016.

Luncheon Debate: Resolved: The FCC does not have the legal authority to implement net neutrality
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

  • Prof. Adam Candeub, Michigan State University School of Law
  • Prof. Justin (Gus) Hurwitz, Nebraska College of Law
  • Mr. Geoffrey Manne, International Center for Law and Economics
  • Prof. James Speta, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Moderator: Prof. Daniel Lyons, Boston College Law School

Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel
New York, NY