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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Patrick Ross or Amy Smorodin
October 26 , 2005
(202) 289-8928
   
Interconnection Regulation to be Debated
Seminar to Address Interconnection in Telecom, Other Networked Industries

WASHINGTON D.C. - In light of the current FCC review of interconnection rules and telecommunications reform proposals circulating in Congress, The Progress & Freedom Foundation will be hosting a seminar to debate interconnection regulation in networked industries. The event, "Interconnection Without Regulation: Lessons for Telecommunications Reform from Four Network Industries," will be held on November 4th from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the Rayburn House Office Building. Panelists will discuss interconnection arrangements in various non-telecom network industries and will debate to what extent regulatory intervention is needed to achieve interconnection.

The event panel will be comprised of industry representatives and telecom policy experts. They include Richard Levine, PFF Adjunct Fellow and Director of the Law and Economics Consulting Group's (LECG) Washington office; Bill Hunt, Vice President for Public Policy at Level 3 Communications, responsible for regulatory affairs in North America and Europe; and Lyman Chapin, Founding Principal Consultant at Interisle Consulting Group, Founding Trustee of the Internet Society and principal architect of the Internet's open systems interconnection model. The panel will also include Donald Baker, Senior Partner in the Washington law firm Baker and Miller. Baker is a former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice.

Randolph May, Senior Fellow and Director of Communications Policy Studies at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, will serve as moderator for the event. "Communications is just one of many other network industries that depend on interconnection arrangements in order to serve customers. Industry and policy experts at the seminar will examine the interconnection experience in the Internet, ATM, airline, and railroad markets to discern lessons that might be applicable to interconnection in the communications marketplace," explains May. "Often the communications policy debate seems to assume that communications is completely unique. The premise of this event is that this is not so, but rather that there are some common lessons to be learned from examination of other network industries."

The event is being held following the release of the special report "Interconnection Without Regulation: Lessons for Telecommunications Reform from Four Network Industries," authored by Randolph May and Richard Levine. The report studies the four industries described above and concludes that there usually are sufficient economic incentives, absent regulatory intervention, to ensure interconnection among firms in networked industries." Only where access to a specific customer is dominated by a single firm might the need for a targeted regulatory response arise," Levine and May explain. "In that instance, our study concludes that the response primarily should be to encourage the development of additional facilities-based competition."

"Interconnection Without Regulation: Lessons for Telecommunications Reform from Four Network Industries" will be held in Room B369 of the Rayburn House Office Building from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Lunch will be served. Those wishing to attend may register online. Questions should be addressed to Marie Ryan at 202-289-8928 or mryan@pff.org. Media should direct queries to Patrick Ross at 202-289-8928 or pross@pff.org or Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928 or asmorodin@pff.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.

 

 

The Progress & Freedom Foundation