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News Release
December 3, 2003
CONTACT: David Fish
(202) 289-8928

Friday Hill Event to Focus on Wireless Sector
FCC Wireless Chief, Others Examine Regulations & Taxes

WASHINGTON, D.C. - John Muleta, chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, a state regulator and other industry experts will examine the effects of taxes and regulations – including new local number portability requirements – on wireless consumers at a Friday, December 5 Congressional Seminar. Sponsored by The Progress & Freedom Foundation, the event will be held in Longworth House Office Building, room 1539, from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.

In addition to Muleta, speakers will include: Hon. Anne C. Boyle, Commissioner, Nebraska Public Service Commission; Paul Rubin, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics and Law at Emory University and Thomas M. Lenard, senior fellow and VP for research at The Progress & Freedom Foundation. The moderator will be Raymond L. Gifford, president of the Foundation.

Wireless is often held up as an example of the benefits of letting markets work. But this now “mature” industry is under increasing pro-regulatory pressures. Most recently, wireless carriers have been required to provide local number portability – a requirement that has obvious benefits, but also imposes costs. Wireless is also one of the most heavily taxed products. Given the competitiveness of the wireless industry, the PFF Congressional Seminar will ask whether the benefits of the regulatory mandates and taxes to which wireless is subject are sufficient to offset their costs.

A recent study co-authored by Lenard found that wireless phone consumers may pay $16 billion a year – almost ten dollars per month per user – in order to pay for taxes and regulations at all levels of government. The resulting 18-percent increase could result in nearly 31 million fewer wireless users, the study finds.

Those interested in attending the Congressional Seminar should register by contacting Andrea Knutsen at 202-289-8928 or Lunch will be served.

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the impact of the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation