Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program holds Conference on the Digital Broadband Migration

February 23, 2006

Last weekend, the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program held its flagship conference on the Digital Broadband Migration, focusing on “Confronting the New Regulatory Frontiers.”  The event attracted over 250 students, academics, industry professionals, and lawyers, featuring a terrific lineup of speakers from government, industry, and academia that included Internet icon Bob Kahn, former FCC Chairman Michael Powell, Level 3 CEO Jim Crowe, and regulatory legend Fred Kahn.   The proceedings of the event, like its predecessors, will be published in the Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law.  For some of the press reports on the conference, see the stories here and here.  Apropos of the topic, a number of blogs reported on the conference, including discussions about the future of video over the Internet, Michael Powell’s comments on the state of telecom policy, and the institutional challenges facing regulators in today’s environment.  Videos of the conference, and past Silicon Flatirons events, are (or soon will be) available here.  Silicon Flatirons will host two more events this spring, “The Challenges of Information Management: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Secure Data Collection, Storage and Retention” on Monday, March 13th and “Re-Examining the Patent System” on Thursday, April 6th.The transformation of telecommunications from an analog, narrowband network optimized for voice to a digital, broadband network optimized for data traffic has created a myriad of challenges for businesses, policymakers, and academics alike.  The questions range from those involving which institutions—courts, agencies, standard setting bodies, and/or international treaty organizations—can address technology policy questions to questions involving the emerging structure of the telecommunications industry and whether it is an effective facilitator of or possible barrier to continued innovation.  Similarly, the development of video content over the Internet is emerging as a challenge that will potentially transform the video programming industry, with respect to both the rethinking of regulatory strategies and the role of digital rights management systems.This conference examined the above set of pressing regulatory challenges that policymakers have yet to fully grapple with.  With a thoughtful array of leaders from academic, industry, and governmental circles, this conference continued the Silicon Flatirons’ tradition of encouraging “bolder thinking” in Boulder.  Like its predecessors, the proceedings from this conference will be published in a volume of the Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law.Wide arrange of technology issues were covered throughout the conference, including an overview panel discussing the institutional challenges of technology policy, a panel covering video over internet protocol, a panel regarding digital rights management, and a panel about the industry structure.  Keynote speakers included Robert Kahn, an Internet pioneer, Michael K. Powell, the former Chairman of FCC, and Jim Crowe, President and CEO of Level 3 Communications.Panelists included the following:Overview Panel:  The Institutional Challenges of Technology PolicyPhil Weiser (Assoc. Prof. of Law and Telecom at CU), Ray Gifford (President of the Progress & Freedom Foundation), Dale Hatfield (Adjunct Prof. at CU Interdisciplinary Telecom Program), Howard Shelanski (Prof. of Law at Berkeley), & Hon. Stephen Williams (U.S. Court of Apps.—D.C. Circ.)Video Over Internet Protocol PanelPeter Rohrbach (Hogan & Hartson), Susan Crawford (Asst. Prof. at Cardozo Law School), Jon Nuechterlein (Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP), Timothy Wu (Prof. of Law at Columbia), Dorothy Attwood (AT&T), Paul Glist (Cole, Raywid & Braverman), & Stephan Shelanski (Starz Entertainment Group LLC)Digital Rights ManagementPaul Ohm (Assoc. Prof. at CU), Randy Picker (Prof. of Law at University of Chicago), Doug Sicker (Prof. of Comp. Sci. & Interdisciplinary Telecom Program at CU), Chris Sprigman (Prof. of Law at University of Virginia), Dick Green (President & CEO of CableLabs), Preston Padden (Exec. VP of Gov’t Relations for The Walt Disney Company), Gigi Sohn (President of Public Knowledge)Industry StructureSean Linsay (Assoc. General Counsel at Qwest), Antoinette Cook Bush (Skadden Arp’s Comm.), Mark Cooper (Director of Research at the Consumer Federation of America and President of Citizens Research), Aaron Edlin (Richard W. Jennings Endowed Chair at Berkeley), Alfred Kahn (Chariman, CEO & President of the Corporation fro National research Initiatives), Douglas Melamed (Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP), F.M. Scherer (Prof. at John F. Kennedy School of Gov’t, Harvard). Related Links:http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/other_business/article/0,2777,DRMN... http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=180205365 http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/tech/article/0,2777,DRMN_23910_448...