Author of Telecom Reform Legislation Responds to Proposal
WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Representative Charles "Chip" Pickering (R-Mississippi) will address a Progress & Freedom Foundation event on communications law reform tomorrow (Tuesday). Pickering, author of legislation aimed at reforming the Telecom Act of 1996, will give an 11:45 pre-luncheon address at a public forum on PFF's Digital Age Communications Act (DACA). On Friday, PFF released a proposal by the DACA Regulatory Framework Working Group, calling for the Federal Communications Commission's authority to be modeled on that of the Federal Trade Commission.
The public forum will be June 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. U.S. Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada) and FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy are also speaking, Ensign at 10:15 and Abernathy during lunch. The DACA Regulatory Framework co-chairmen, PFF Senior Fellow Randolph May and Northwestern University Law Professor James Speta, will explain the group's findings and will hear from DACA Advisory Group members. In addition, a panel representing multiple communications industries and other interests will respond. Those attending will be free to ask questions and make suggestions.
Pickering, Vice Chairman of the House Commerce Committee, has long been active in communications law reform. He recently has authored legislation that would regulate VoIP as a service distinct from telecom or cable, and in the late 1990s sponsored a bill designed to overhaul the FCC. Serving his fifth term from Mississippi 's Third District, he helped shape the Telecom Act of 1996 as a senior Senate Commerce Committee staff member and as a staff member of then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Mississippi).
PFF launched DACA in February with the intent of providing guidance for regulators and legislators on how to address regulatory issues in an era of competing digital services and platforms. DACA consists of dozens of individuals, including PFF fellows, scholars at other think tanks and universities, and public policy officials from the last five presidential administrations. There are five working groups -- Regulatory Framework, Federal/State Framework, Universal Service/Social Policy, Spectrum Policy, and Institutional Reform. All of the working groups expect to release draft proposals in the coming months for public consumption and comment.
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.