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CONTACT: Patrick Ross or Amy Smorodin
September 15, 2005
(202) 289-8928
Experts to Address Net Neutrality
After Brand X

Panel to Join Former U.S. Rep. Tauke at PFF Conference

WASHINGTON D.C. - The Progress & Freedom Foundation will be hosting a conference titled, "Net Neutrality or Net Neutering in a Post- Brand X World: Self-Regulation, Policy Principles, and Legal Mandates in the Broadband Marketplace." The event, scheduled for Wednesday, September 21st at the Capital Hilton, will explore the issue of Net neutrality in the post-Brand X environment, especially in light of recent actions taken by the FCC. Policy experts Peter Pitsch, Dan Brenner, Gigi Sohn, David McClure and Adam Thierer will discuss possible public and private solutions to address Net access and anti-discrimination claims and potential regulatory solutions. Former U.S. Congressman Tom Tauke will give the opening keynote address.

The panel discussion will be moderated by PFF Director of Communications Policy Studies Randolph May. The panel participants, representing the interests of both industry and consumers, have vast experience in the regulatory policy arena. Peter Pitsch, Intel Communications Policy Director, previously served at the FCC as the agency's Chief of Staff. Pitsch also spent ten years as President of Pitsch Communications, specializing in regulatory policy. Dan Brenner, Senior Vice President for Law and Regulatory Policy at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, previously served as Senior Legal Advisor to the FCC Chairman and was Director of the Communications Law Program at UCLA Law School. Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge, an advocacy group that defends a vibrant information commons, previously served as Executive Director of the Media Access Project. David McClure, President of the U.S. Internet Industry Association, is a veteran in the technology industry, having previously worked on NASA's space shuttle program. McClure has also taught communication and public policy in post-graduate and professional development environments. Rounding out the discussion will be PFF Senior Fellow Adam Thierer. Prior to joining PFF in 2005, Thierer spent four years at the Cato Institute as Director of Telecommunications Studies. A luncheon address (speaker TBA) will follow the keynote and panel discussion.

Calls for government to regulate Net access have not subsided despite the classification of cable and telephone company-provided broadband services as information services. In early August, the FCC adopted a policy statement containing four "connectivity" principles it claims will preserve the open and interconnected nature of the Net. This conference will examine the rationale and wisdom of the FCC's action, while at the same time exploring whether industry self-regulation or more stringent new rules and legal mandates constitute preferable alternatives.

In his opening address, Tom Tauke, Verizon's Executive Vice President for Public Affairs, will set forth his views on the role of self-regulation, policy principles and legal mandates regarding Net neutrality. Tauke previously served in the U.S. House, serving on the House Telecommunications Subcommittee. Tauke is also the past Chairman of the United States Telecom Association and currently sits on its Board of Directors.

"Net Neutrality or Net Neutering in a Post- Brand X World: Self-Regulation, Policy Principles, and Legal Mandates in the Broadband Marketplace" will be held at the Capital Hilton on September 21st from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. Lunch will be served. Those wanting to attend may register online. Questions about this event should be addressed to Eileen Goulding at 202-289-8928 or Media should direct queries to Patrick Ross 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