April 20, 2004

Tutorial T6: Telecommunications Law for the Rest of Us

Yesterday’s tutorial, presented by the FCC’s Robert Cannon and Christopher Savage of Cole, Raywid & Braverman, provided an interesting look at the history and structure of the FCC in the context of telecom regulation. From the invention of the telephone to the current debate over the regulation of broadband and Voice over IP, this event provided an in-depth discussion of the FCC’s jurisdiction over communications and data processing services. Current issues of concern included the circuit split regarding the status of internet over cable and the pending appeal of the Ninth Circuits decision in BrandX.

Traditionally government regulation of communications has acknowledged two categories of services for the end user: basic and enhanced services. Whereas the regulation for these two types of services differ substantially (basic services are heavily regulated as common carriers), changes involving how technologies underlying these services work have fueled a continuing debate concerning which services fall under which of the two titles.

Specifically, Cannon and Savage discussed the status of VoIP services, which remove voice transmission from the network’s physical layer and instead incorporate those services into the network’s application layer.

Posted by johnhan at April 20, 2004 06:55 PM
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