BJ Ard, Colin Agur, and Ramesh Subramanian
This reading group will examine telecommunications law- and policy-making in the United States. It will do so by looking at relevant markets, government institutions, debates specific to the media (radio, television, telephony, and the Internet) under FCC jurisdiction, the challenges of law- and policy-making in a period of technological convergence, and the future of telecom law and policy.
Telecommunications regulation is a complex and pressing topic in US public policy, as shown by recent debates over net neutrality, mergers by cable providers, and the perennial issues of access and pricing. In this reading group, we will study a varied set of texts (policy documents, court decisions, technical analyses, and essays) that together provide a historically informed and comprehensive overview of American telecommunications policy and its development. Our discussions will delve into debates in First and Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, the questions and challenges different media (the telephone, radio, television, and the Internet) pose for regulators, and the role of governments (at all levels) as regulators of the country’s communications networks.
We see this reading group as a complement to courses available to students at YLS, and as a useful preparation for those interested in deepening their knowledge of the policy-making process. We hope to create a set of discussions that help students as they apply for internships and jobs in academia, government, relevant NGOs, law firms, and the private sector.