Published: Oct. 10, 2000

The belief that the Internet is changing the way America does business applies with special force to telecommunications regulation. With the advent of Internet telephone service, often referred to as "voice over Internet protocol," the traditional regulatory regime of telephone service has found itself in a regulatory "no man’s land."

How regulators respond to this phenomenon as well as the increasing reliance on the Internet to deliver data, video and audio applications will help shape business strategies, U.S. telecommunications policy and the impact of the Internet on society.

To address this issue, the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder will hold an Oct. 19 forum called "A Regulatory Regime for the Internet Age." The forum at the Fleming Law Building on the CU-Boulder campus will include top officials from the Federal Communications Commission, the chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and lawyers and business leaders involved in the telecommunications industry.

"We are delighted to bring such a stellar group together to discuss what may well be the single most important issue before federal and state telecommunications regulators," said Associate Professor Phil Weiser, executive director of the program. "In so doing, we hope to both contribute to the policy debate and to inspire students to delve deeper into the issue and searching for solutions to this challenge."

The Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program brings together experts from the telecommunications community to discuss cutting-edge legal, technical and business issues facing the industry and to help prepare students for entry into the field. In addition to sponsoring conferences, the program sponsors a paper competition and a mentorship program for law students interested in high-technology and telecommunications jobs.

With the help of a number of companies and law firms, including a founding grant from Qwest, CU-Boulder established the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program last February with a conference on "Telecommunications Law for the 21st Century" and a forum on "Long Distance After Bell Entry." The proceedings from both conferences are available on the Internet at

In addition to the Oct. 19 forum, the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program also will host a talk by FCC Commissioner Michael Powell, "Reflections on Communications Policy," on Nov. 13.

A fee of $50 will be charged to the general public, $25 for members of the Colorado Bar's communications section, Denver Telecom Professionals, the FCC Bar Association and CU law school or Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program alumni. There is no fee for CU-Boulder students, faculty and members of the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program.

For more information, call Phil Weiser at (303) 735-2733, or register online at