|Randolph May, President of the Free State Foundation and a Public Member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS), is participating in the ACUS 59th Plenary Session on December 5-6, 2013, in Washington, DC. ACUS is an independent federal agency. Its mission is to promote improvements in the efficiency, adequacy, and fairness of the procedures by which federal agencies conduct regulatory programs, administer grants and benefits, and perform related governmental functions. The ACUS membership is composed of federal officials and experts with diverse views and backgrounds from both the private sector and academia.
Randolph May, President of the Free State Foundation, will participate in a webinar on November 19 hosted by the Digital Policy Institute (DPI), an interdisciplinary research think tank based at Ball State University. Other panelists joining Mr. May for this webinar, “Spectrum Auctions and Band Plans: Maximizing Auction Revenues and Minimizing Post-Auction Problems,” are Preston Padden, Executive Director of the Broadcaster’s Coalition, and Rick Kaplan, Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning at the National Association of Broadcasters. Among the many key legal and policy issues the panel will address are: the FCC’s proposed system for broadcasters choosing to relinquish spectrum; whether eligibility restrictions on wireless carriers wanting to bid would reduce the overall auction revenues and, correspondingly, broadcasters’ incentives to cede spectrum; the methods whereby broadcasters not choosing to give up spectrum but are relocated in repacked spectrum will be reimbursed for their costs; and the continued availability of broadcast service for TV viewers. The webinar, Tuesday, November 19, 2 p.m., EST, will go live here just prior to start time.
Free State Foundation President Randolph May will participate on a panel at the University of Nebraska Law School’s 6th Annual Space and Cyber Law Washington, DC, Conference at the Willard Hotel, November 5, 2013. The panel, titled "Regulation v. Market Based Mechanisms for The Internet’s Future," discussion is structured around the 100 year anniversary of the Kingsbury Commitment, the first antitrust consent decree relating to the U.S. telecommunications system and arguably the beginning of modern regulation of this system.
FSF just announced Congressman Bob Latta will deliver the opening remarks at the October 24, 2013, lunch seminar titled, "A New FCC or the Same Old, Same Old?" Rep. Latta is the Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Other speakers include: James Assey, Executive Vice President, National Cable & Telecommunications Association; William Kovacic, former Chairman, Federal Trade Commission and Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School; Jim Speta, Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law; Robert Quinn, Senior Vice President - Federal Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer, AT&T Services; and moderator Randolph May, FSF President. Register now for the FSF lunch seminar at the National Press Club.
Free State Foundation President Randolph May participated in this week's edition of C-SPAN's The Communicators program to discuss the September 9 oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the Verizon v. F case challenging the FCC's net neutrality regulations. Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge, appeared on the program with Mr. May, and former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, who voted against the net neutrality regulations, gave brief introductory remarks via telephone. The Communicators airs on C-SPAN on Saturday, September 14, at 6:30 p.m., and on C-SPAN 2 on Monday, September 16, at 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. You may access the entire program on C-SPAN's website here.
Free State Foundation President Randolph May today announced three changes in FSF staff and affiliations. Sarah Leggin has joined the Free State Foundation as a Legal Fellow. Seth Cooper, FSF Research Fellow, has relocated to Washington State. Effective September 1, Mr. Cooper's status changed to Adjunct Senior Fellow. Gregory Vogt has become affiliated with FSF as a Visiting Fellow. For the full press release announcing these changes, click here.
Free State Foundation President Randolph May participated in the annual American Bar Association meeting in San Francisco from August 9 - 13. Mr. May is a member of the ABA's House of Delegates, the governing body of the ABA, and a past Chairman of the ABA's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. He is also a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States.
Distinguished Adjunct Senior Fellow of the Free State Foundation and former FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate participated in the 40th Annual Meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Chicago. ALEC is the largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of U.S. state legislators, and fosters relationships between private and public sector members to develop best practice solutions to various state issues. Commissioner Tate presented during the Communications and Technology Task Force’s meeting, "Spotlight on the States: Fostering Broadband Connectivity, Electronic Privacy and E-commerce Through State Policy.” In her presentation, Commissioner Tate said, “Policy makers and legislators should continue a regulatory framework that encourages the continued investment in expanding our broadband infrastructure to bring jobs, advancements in healthcare, and educational opportunities to more consumers, particularly in rural areas. Lawmakers must reduce unnecessary and stifling barriers to build out, and provide a level playing field across all types of providers,” she continued, “with uniform rules and prompt review processes. All states should adopt fair and reasonable pole attachment rates that provide regulatory certainty and encourage investment in our Nation’s communications infrastructure." Commissioner Tate further used her home state of Tennessee as an example of how rising pole attachments rates – some two and a half times the national average – are becoming a barrier to investment at a time when Tennessee ranks 45th in broadband access and less than half the households have high-speed Internet connectivity. In addition, Oklahoma Governor and newly elected Chair of the National Governors Association Mary Fallin was given the Jefferson Award for championing limited government and individual liberty. Other speakers included former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Iowa Governor and ALEC co-founder Terry Branstad, Economist Dr. Arthur Laffer, and Stephen Moore, Wall Street Journal and Fox News Contributor.
Congratulations to Distinguished Adjunct Senior Fellow of the Free State Foundation and former FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate for being named a Minority Media and Telecommunications Council’s People’s Hero of the Week. Additionally, Ms. Tate joined with several others in support of FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s proposed student-centered E-Rate program. “I am proud that my home state of Tennessee was the first in the nation to connect all public schools to the Internet,” remarked Ms. Tate, “and with help from a student-centered E-Rate program, the Volunteer State will continue to lead the way in digital learning." Also applauding Commissioner Pai’s E-Rate program reform efforts is FSF’s Board of Academic Advisors member Michelle Connolly, Professor of the Practice within the Economics Department at Duke University and Former FCC Chief Economist. In addition, Ms. Tate recently was named to the The Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet.
Randolph J. May, President of the Free State Foundation, is testifying at a hearing on “Improving FCC Process” before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Committee on Energy and Commerce, on July 11, 2013. He commended the Committee for undertaking the effort to reform the FCC's processes and its decision-making approaches. Mr. May supported the proposed reforms in the Discussion Drafts that, along with his additional proposals, would make the FCC less likely to default so often to regulatory measures, even absent clear and convincing evidence of market failure or consumer harm. Mr. May's complete testimony is here. A link to the video is here.
Randolph J. May, President of the Free State Foundation, was interviewed by Media Freedom on June 26, 2013, about how he thinks the DC Circuit court might approach Verizon’s appeal of the FCC’s Net Neutrality regulations after the Supreme Court's recent City of Arlington ruling. As Mr. May notes in this video, though City of Arlington may not be entirely helpful to Verizon, it does not automatically end the dispute. In his view, other of the company’s arguments – such as those dealing with the reasonableness of the rules, and its First Amendment claims – remain potent avenues of challenge to the agency’s controversial Open Internet regulations. Oral arguments for the appeal are scheduled for September 9, 2013.
The speakers have been announced for the Free State Foundation's "If I Were the FCC Chairman..." lunch seminar at the National Press Club, June 4, 2013. The seminar will feature nationally-recognized senior leaders in the communications policy field who will discuss what they would do if they were the new FCC Chairman. Register now!
Free State Foundation Distinguished Adjunct Senior Fellow and former Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate participated at the May 13-17 World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2013. The World Summit represents the largest annual gathering of the “ICT for development community” in Geneva, Switzerland at the ITU headquarters. Ms. Tate serves as the ITU's Special Envoy for Child Online Protection. She participated in numerous forums and events and was the moderator of a High Level Dialogue: Women's Empowerment in the Information Society: Systemic, Scalable Strategies. Ms. Tate will also participate in World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) on May 17 as a former official Laureate for 2009. In addition, Ms. Tate will be part of the official delegation to the Global Youth Summit in Costa Rica in September 2013 hosted by Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla.
We were very pleased that Senator Marco Rubio delivered his first major address on communications policies and telecom priorities at the Free State Foundation's Fifth Annual Winter Telecom Policy Conference. Sen. Rubio is a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and its Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. Here is a link to the written copy of Sen. Rubio’s speech, and you can view the video here.
A revised agenda for the Free State Foundation's Fifth Annual Winter Telecom Policy Conference, “Completing the Transition to a Digital World: How to Finish the Job and Why It Matters,” has been released. Please note that due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict, Senator Marco Rubio will deliver his keynote address at 1:00 p.m. during lunch. The conference will open with FSF President Randolph May's conversation with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai. There will be three panels featuring an outstanding line-up of leading experts from government, industry, and academia discussing the most important communications policy issues of the day. Register now for the March 21, 2013, conference.
Register now for the Free State Foundation's Wednesday, January 23, 2013, luncheon to celebrate FSF’s new book, "Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age: The Next Five Years," at the National Press Club. Several of the book's contributing authors, all prominent scholars and experts in the field of communications policy, will discuss their chapters and lead a lively, interactive exchange concerning today's hottest-topic issues. Speakers include: Christopher Yoo, Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School and Member of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors - "Internet Policy Going Forward: Does One Size Still Fit All?"; Daniel Lyons, Professor, Boston College Law School, and Member of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors - "Reforming the Universal Service Fund for the Digital Age"; Ellen Goodman, Professor, Rutgers School of Law – Camden, and Member of FSF's Board of Academic Advisors - "Public Media Policy Reform and Digital Age Realities"; and Seth Cooper, FSF Research Fellow - "Restoring a Minimal Regulatory Environment for a Healthy Wireless Future."