Government
News
12/16/2008
04:05 PM
50%
50%

FCC Reform Expected On Obama's Agenda

Key industry players and public interest groups will discuss proposed FCC reforms in managing spectrum, net neutrality, and media ownership at a January conference.

The motto of the incoming Obama administration may be "change," but the motto for the Federal Communications Commission is shaping up as "reform." Prominent Democratic communications players are scheduled to participate Jan. 5 in a program titled Reforming the FCC.

The keynote speakers will be two former chairmen of the FCC: Reed Hundt and William Kennard.

The event, to be held at the National Press Building in Washington, is sponsored by the public interest organization Public Knowledge and Silicon Flatirons, the University of Colorado's Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship.

Public Knowledge has set the stage for the conference by stating, "It is both timely and important to examine how the FCC has done its job -- and to consider how the FCC can do a better job in the future on issues such as managing spectrum, Net Neutrality, and media ownership."

As America increasingly goes online -- and online wirelessly -- at higher and higher speeds, the FCC will be faced immediately with a series of pressing issues, the first being the February switchover from analog to digital TV. While government and business interests have made elaborate preparations for the change, some observers are predicting the event will be accompanied by a tsunami of chaos as millions of Americans will be suddenly faced with their TVs going dead.

The way to the switchover was paved by the massive sale of nearly $20 billion worth of "oceanfront" 700-MHz spectrum -- most of it to AT&T and Verizon. The prime spectrum has excellent propagation features and also good in-building penetration attributes. However, a swathe of spectrum set aside for public safety usage still remains in limbo, and the FCC -- expected to take a Democratic slant -- will likely seek to see that public safety spectrum made available soon.

Silicon Flatirons asked rhetorically, "Is the Federal Communications Commission truly equipped to deal with immediate challenges that it will face? That question is being asked today by policymakers from Capitol Hill and around the country."

Additional participants and speakers will include Gigi Sohn, Public Knowledge president, and professor Phil Weiser, executive director of the Silicon Flatirons Center. Other former FCC commissioners scheduled to participate include Kathleen Abernathy and Nick Johnson.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Time to Reconsider Enterprise Email Strategy
Time to Reconsider Enterprise Email Strategy
Cost, time, and risk. It's the demand trifecta vying for the attention of both technology professionals and attorneys charged with balancing the expectations of their clients and business units with the hard reality of the current financial and regulatory climate. Sometimes, organizations assume high levels of risk as a result of their inability to meet the costs involved in data protection. In other instances, it's time that's of the essence, as with a data breach.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.