FCC Veteran to Lead Center for Communications and Competition Policy
WASHINGTON D.C. - Barbara Esbin will join The Progress & Freedom Foundation next month as Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Communications and Competition Policy. Esbin has nearly fifteen years of service as a senior official with the Federal Communications Commission. Her policy expertise, acquired over two separate engagements at the Commission, spans wireline, wireless, cable, DBS and media issues. Between her two stints at the FCC, Esbin was a partner in a prominent DC communications law firm, specializing in cable and broadband regulatory issues.
Beginning her FCC career in the Tariff Division of the Common Carrier Bureau, Esbin quickly rose to Assistant Division Chief. She subsequently held a series of senior positions in the Policy and Commercial Wireless Divisions of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. Following passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, Esbin was appointed Associate Bureau Chief of the Cable Services Bureau, where she guided policy on the Act’s local competition provisions and cable telephony issues. Esbin, through publication of the seminal OPP Working Paper 30, "Internet Over Cable; Defining the Past in Terms of the Future," was instrumental in laying the foundation for the Commission's "light touch" regulatory policy toward Internet-based services.
Following her return to the FCC in 2001, Esbin resumed her position as Associate Bureau Chief, and held that position in the newly-formed Media Bureau. There, she led the review of several major industry mergers and rulemakings addressing cable and broadband competition issues. Esbin represented the Bureau on a number of inter-agency efforts, including Internet policy, spectrum policy, and the digital television transition. Most recently, she served as Special Counsel in the Market Disputes Resolution Division of the Enforcement Bureau.
"Barbara Esbin's expertise in regulatory policy is widely respected and we are thrilled that she has agreed to join the Foundation," said PFF President Ken Ferree. "Barbara's years of service at the FCC and in private practice gives her a unique perspective on the regulatory issues facing today's telecommunications industries. We are confident she will be an invaluable addition to our staff."
"I have long respected the work of The Progress & Freedom Foundation,” Esbin said. "I am eager to add my knowledge of regulatory policy and processes to the current debates on communications policy and believe PFF will provide the ideal forum.
Esbin will focus on a number of policy areas at PFF, including broadband deployment, telecommunications competition policy, spectrum policy, FCC reform, and a variety of related issues.
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.