FCC and FTC chairs speak at conference on digital broadband Feb. 9-10

February 13, 2014

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler and Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez spoke at a University of Colorado Boulder conference dealing with Internet governance issues Feb. 9-10.

The conference, “Digital Broadband Migration: After the Internet Protocol Revolution,” was hosted by the University of Colorado Law School’s Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship.

Wheeler gave the keynote speech at 11:50 a.m. on Feb. 10 in the Wittemyer Courtroom of the Wolf Law Building. It was his first public address since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down portions of the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order in January 2014.

This year’s conference examined the range of Internet governance issues on the horizon including strategies for addressing competition policy concerns, net neutrality, social policy issues in the wake of the technological transition and the appropriate institutional strategies for developing sound Internet policies.

“Internet protocol is the Pac Man of the communications, information and entertainment industries,” said Phil Weiser, dean of Colorado Law and executive director of Silicon Flatirons. “It has already or is in the process of transforming how we communicate, receive information and are entertained. Policymakers are just beginning to grapple with a range of governance issues related to how to address economic and social policy issues in our dynamic, globalized and technologically changing age.”

Ramirez joined Paul Ohm, associate professor of law, for a “fireside chat” at 9 a.m. on Feb. 10. The previous day, FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen joined a panel discussing the overarching themes of the conference.

During the conference, leading engineers discussed the Internet’s basic architecture and technology, examining its implications for competition policy issues related to interoperability, interconnection and social policy issues related to privacy, security, access and adoption.