Ken Starr, C. Boyden Gray, Chris Wright on FCC & Sup. Court
WASHINGTON D.C. - Former Solicitor General and D.C. Circuit court Judge Kenneth W. Starr, former White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray and former FCC General Counsel Christopher J. Wright speak Wednesday at the National Press Club about the potential Supreme Court review of the federal appeals decision overturning the FCC's controversial telecommunications unbundling regulations. With a June deadline looming, Solicitor General Theodore B. Olson and the Bush Administration are considering whether to seek the high court's involvement. The FCC rules mandate sharing of phone company facilities with competitors at government-set prices, and have been the focus of much national news coverage in recent weeks.
Sponsored by The Progress & Freedom Foundation, the event takes place on June 2 in the National Press Club's First Amendment room. Lunch is served at noon; the program begins at 12:30 pm with an address by Starr, "The Supreme Court and the Future of the Telecom Act of 1996." It will be followed by reaction from Gray, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP, and Wright, a partner at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP. Foundation Senior Fellow and Director of Communications Policy Studies Randolph J. May will moderate the discussion.
The appeals court's March 2 vacation of significant portions of the FCC's Triennial Review order is stayed through June 15. The Bush Administration must decide soon whether to file for Supreme Court review. Meanwhile, local exchange carriers and their competitors attempt to reach network access agreements. The 1996 Act's unbundling rules have been the focus of intense debate inside the FCC and among industry players.
"The fate of a multi-billion dollar industry and regulations affecting consumers, as well as the future of competition, rest in the hands of the Solicitor General and his administration," said May. "We thought it would be useful to hear what one of his predecessors, who happened to sit on the circuit that later vacated the FCC rules, thinks about this."
Those interested in attending the lunch should register online. Media questions should be directed to David Fish at 202-289-8928 or email@example.com. Others should contact Eileen Goulding at 202-289-8928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.