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CONTACT: Patrick Ross or Amy Smorodin
August 4, 2005
(202) 289-8928
Rep. Marsha Blackburn
to Speak at Aspen Summit

Communications and Spectrum Reform Featured on Aspen Agenda

WASHINGTON D.C. - Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is slated to give an address at The Progress & Freedom Foundation's 11th Annual Aspen Summit the morning of August 23rd. Rep. Blackburn, who sits on the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet and has sponsored critical telecom legislation, will share her views on communications reform during a morning address.

Blackburn recently introduced the bipartisan "Video Choice Act of 2005" (HR-3146) in the U.S. House. The bill promotes competition and consumer choice in the video and cable markets, primarily by eliminating franchising requirements. The "Video Choice Act" has been welcomed for its goal of encouraging additional entrants in local video markets.

Blackburn was named an assistant whip by the House leadership shortly after being elected to Congress in 2002. She joined the prestigious Energy and Commerce Committee at the start of the 109th Congress. In the previous Congress, Blackburn served on the Judiciary, Education and the Workforce, and Government Reform Committees. She was the Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Efficiency and Financial Management where she targeted waste, fraud, and abuse in Federal government operations.

Blackburn serves as Co-Chairman of the Congressional Songwriters Caucus she founded in 2003 to give Tennessee 's community of songwriters a voice on Capitol Hill. In 1995, Blackburn was appointed Executive Director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission, where she broadened its mission to include interactive technology. She was elected State Senator in 1998, becoming the first woman to represent Tennessee's 23rd Senate District. She served as minority whip in the 101st General Assembly.

This year's Aspen Summit theme is "Building a Digital Ownership Society: The Place for Property and Commons." In keeping with the theme, attendees can expect candid dialogue on spectrum reform in the panel discussion, "Spectrum Reform: Property Rights vs. Commons," moderated by PFF's Thomas M. Lenard, Senior Fellow and Vice President for Research. Distinguished panelists, including Michael Gallagher, Commerce Department Assistant Secretary and Director of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), will discuss past accomplishments in spectrum reform, the digital television transition, and current reform efforts in both Congress and the Administration. Other panelists include Thomas J. Sugrue, Vice President of Government Affairs, T-Mobile; Kevin Werbach, Professor, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania; and Lawrence J. White, Arthur E. Imperatore Professor of Economics Department of Economics, Leonard N. Stern School of Business New York University.

On an issue that intersects video and spectrum, summit guests will have an opportunity to debate the digital television transition at a Monday evening working dinner moderated by Adam Thierer, PFF's Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Digital Media Freedom. Guests will gain insight into the mood at the FCC and on Capitol Hill from Neil Fried, Majority Counsel, House Energy & Commerce Committee; and Rick Chessen, Chair of the DTV Task Force at the FCC. Representing views from the private sector will be Peter Pitsch, Director of Communications Policy at Intel, and Jane Mago, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the National Association of Broadcasters. Dale Hatfield, Professor, Univ. of Colorado, and Phil Weiser, Professor, Univ. of Colorado School of Law, will round out the discussion.

Presenters at this year's Aspen Summit include influential industry executives such as Tom Perkins, Co-founder and Partner Emeritus, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Nathan Myhrvold, CEO of Intellectual Ventures; Jonathan Schwartz, President of Sun Microsystems; William A. Owens, Vice Chairman & CEO of Nortel; Steve Bennett, President & CEO, Intuit; Jeffrey Citron, Chairman & CEO of Vonage; and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group. The Aspen Summit, the premier event for policymakers, business leaders and academia in the tech community, promises to promote insightful and dynamic discussion on all aspects of digital ownership affecting business and consumers alike.

Details about the 2005 PFF Aspen Summit, scheduled for August 21-23, can be found on our web site and registration can be performed online. Media, as always, are welcome to attend for free, and should contact Patrick Ross or Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928, or and, respectively.

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.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation