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CONTACT: David Fish
July 14, 2004
(202) 289-8928
Regulating the Internet - July 16 Conference
JSpeakers: Ferree, Nakahata, Hoewing, Yoo, Waz, Whitt & Thierer

WASHINGTON D.C. - Is it time to regulate broadband Internet providers - cable and phone companies, etc. - to guarantee 'Net neutrality' and prohibit 'discriminatory' conduct? The best 'yes' and 'no' answers to that question can be heard July 16 at a conference featuring Federal Communications Commission, legal, corporate, academic, and think tank experts. Sponsored by The Progress & Freedom Foundation, the event takes place at Washington 's Mandarin Oriental hotel at 1330 Maryland Avenue. New additions to the panel include a former FCC chief of staff and a Verizon executive. A senior FCC official speaks at lunch.

Vanderbilt Law School Professor Chris topher S. Yoo delivers the opening address at 10:30 am - "The Economics of Net Neutrality: Why the Physical Layer Should Not Be Regulated". Next, a panel of industry and academic experts reacts and offers their own perspectives. It includes John Nakahata, partner in the law firm of Harris Wiltshire & Grannis (and former FCC chief of staff), Link Hoewing, VP of Internet & Technology Policy Development at Verizon, Joe Waz, VP of external affairs and public policy counsel at Comcast Corporation, Rick Whitt , senior director of global policy and planning for MCI, and Adam Thierer, director of telecommunications studies at Cato Institute.

At noon, Kenneth Ferree, chief of the FCC's Media Bureau, will provide his own views on the broadband, cable, and other regulatory issues before the agency. Yoo's speech will be based on an in-depth paper of the same title to be released by the Foundation.

"Professor Yoo is a leading authority on economic issues relating to network industries," says Randolph J. May, PFF senior fellow and director of communications policy studies and moderator of the panel. "He believes the types of regulation urged by network neutrality and 'layers model' proponents for cable operators, telephone companies, and other platforms are likely to frustrate what should be a central focus of broadband policy - the promotion of investment and competition at the physical layer."

Those interested in attending the lunch should register online. For further information, please contact Eileen Goulding at 202-289-8928 or Members of the media may contact David Fish at 202-775-2644 or 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