Thursday, March 5, 2009



EVENT: Has Divestiture Worked?
A 25th Anniversary Assessment of the
Breakup of AT&T

LOCATION: New York University, Warren Weaver Hall

Three 1-hour panels: Past, Present, and Future
Format for each panel: 2 major presentations, with brief commentary by
real world practitioners. Q&A follows each panel (~10 mins.)

PANEL 1:Historical perspective:

Bruce Kushnick -- An overview and leading financial indicators. What happened over the last 25 years?
Tom Allibone and Dean Landsman -- Consumers: telephony costs and other issues of telephony and broadband.
Ken Levy -- Living history, his perspective from within FCC during the Break Up!
Alex Goldman -- ISP/CLEC industry: regulatory follies over the past decade
Mark Cooper -- The Failure of Market Fundamentalism in the Telecom Sector: How Deregulation Derailed Divestiture or The Operation was Successful, but the Patient Died

The Present State:

Jonathan Askin -- The legal/regulatory environment then and now.
Dave Burstein -- Broadband market roundup
Joe Plotkin -- Small business broadband needs, and surviving as a small independent provider.
David Rosen -- What filmmakers and other creators need to know
Carl Mayer -- Privacy and the latest on the wiretapping case

PANEL 3:Future . . . Alternative approaches:

Fred Goldstein --
The current state of fiber optic networks. Are new models like Structural Separation needed now?
Lou Klepner -- NYC coop fiber network
Dana Spiegel -- The future of broadband spectrum
W. Scott McCollough -- Legally rewiring telecom infrastructure: what is possible? Divestiture2? Separation?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Speaker Bios

Tom Allibone, President of LTC Consulting, is the Director of Teletruth's Auditing Division. He has been a telecommunications professional with over 38 years experience. Prior to founding LTC Consulting in 1989, Tom worked for New Jersey Bell and AT&T as a systems consultant and National Account Manager, starting in 1970. Tom is an AT&T 'legacy' as his grandfather and father (and his wife) all worked for AT&T and the Bell System.
Tom has led Teletruth's auditing capabilities which has resulted in the settlement of 2 class action suits against Verizon, New Jersey, as well as telecom auditing resulting in over $20 milloin in refunds. Tom was a member of the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee, and featured in the Emmy-nominated Bill Moyer PBS "The Net at Risk."

Jonathan Askin is a professor at Brooklyn Law School and the Founder/Director of the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic, which provides transactional and advocacy legal services to Internet, technology and new media startups. Throughout his career, Jonathan has focused on representing companies and clients attempting to push technology to advance the Internet and communications capabilities.

Dave Burstein, is editor and publisher of DSL Prime.
Dave Burstein has edited DSL Prime and written about broadband and Internet TV for a decade. He authored DSL: A Tech Brief (Wiley, 2002, with Jennie Bourne). His work has been cited by nearly every major U.S. newspaper and business magazine. He chaired the Fast Net Futures conference for three years, and two Web Video Summits.

Mark Cooper
Dr. Cooper holds a Ph.D. from Yale University and is a former Yale University and Fulbright Fellow. He is Director of Research at the Consumer Federation of America, a Fellow at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society and a Fellow at The Donald McGannon Communications Center of Fordham University. He has provided expert testimony in over 250 cases for public interest clients including Attorneys General, People's Counsels, and citizen interveners before state and federal agencies, courts and legislators in almost four dozen jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada.

Dr. Cooper has published numerous books and articles on energy, telecommunications and high technology industries.

Alex Goldman was a technical writer at ABE Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, preparing manuals for cellular phones and other equipment during the transition from analog to digital technologies. He returned to the U.S. and edited for Simon & Schuster before joining ISP-Planet. He now works for

Fred R. Goldstein
is the Principal of Ionary Consulting. He advises companies on technical, regulatory and business issues related to the telecommunications and Internet industries, especially in areas where they overlap.
Fred has over a quarter-century of experience in the telecommunications industry, offering consulting services designed to make competition work in the telecommunications, Internet, cable, wireless and information technology sectors. He is the author of "The Great Telecom Meltdown", published by Artech in 2005. He has provided expert testimony before several state regulatory agencies, courts, and the Federal Communications Commission, on behalf of Competitive Local Exchange Carriers and other competitive service providers, primarily focusing on the technical and economic impact of interconnection agreements and intercarrier compensation.

Lou Klepner
NYC Community Fiber Project

Bruce Kushnick, Executive Director, New Networks Institute
Chairman, Teletruth
Bruce Kushnick has been a respected telecommunications analyst and visionary for over 25 years. New Networks Institute was formed in 1992, and is a founding member of Teletruth since 2002.
From 2003-2004, Teletruth was a member of the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee. In 2006, "$200 Billion Broadband Scandal" was released and was featured on the Emmy-nominated PBS Special, "The Net At Risk". Bruce Kushnick is currently a contributor to Harvard's Nieman Foundation for Journalism's Watchdog Project.
Bruce Kushnick holds a BA in Music Composition, and was a special graduate Student at MIT's Division for the Study in Research and Education (now part of the Media Lab) and Harvard.

Dean Landsman is a Media, Marketing and Communications professional, enabling successful delivery and transmission and distribution of information. This can be content, messages, ideas, promotion, entertainment, inter-departmental data, or simply conveying an intended message, thought or idea, from one source to another. That can be one to one, one to many, or in participatory or collaborative efforts, many to many. Dean's work includes program development, market research, promotional and introductory implementation.

Kenneth Levy has worked as a telecommunications lawyer since the late 1970s, when he joined the FCC. He held several supervisory positions at the FCC, including Deputy Chief, Operations of the Common Carrier Bureau and Chief of the Tariff Division during the period leading up to divestiture and through the aftermath. He left the FCC to become General Counsel of the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc., the organization charged with administering the FCC's interstate access charge plan and universal service fund. Recently he has worked as a consultant on telecommunications regulatory proceedings involving universal service, inter-carrier compensation, Internet telephony and interconnection of networks.

Carl Mayer runs the Mayer Law Group LLC and is the author of several books including Shakedown and Public Domain, Private Dominion. He is a former law professor and served as special counsel to the New York State Attorney General. Over the last decade, Carl has also worked with Ralph Nader.

W. Scott Mc Collough, Esq.
W. Scott Mc Collough's focus of practice has been on public law, including consumer; civil and voting rights; procurement; telecommunications, electric and gas utilities; administrative law; economic regulation; consulting; governmental relations; and, instruction and training in those areas to individuals, groups, companies and governmental agencies. Clients include several competitive telecommunications companies and Internet service providers. Contract Consumer Advocate (representing residential and small business consumers) with City of Austin Electric Utility (1994-1999). Regulatory Counsel for Texas ISDN Users Group and Texas Internet Service Providers Association.
From 1984-1994, Represented State of Texas before regulatory agencies with jurisdiction over gas, telephone, water and electric utilities, and on appeal. Assisted and advised state agencies and local 9-1-1 emergency service providers in utility and network planning, purchasing, operation and interconnection. Represented agencies in billing and rating disputes with utilities. Served as regulatory counsel for General Services Commission and regulatory and general counsel for Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications. Past Member, State Cogeneration Council and Relay Texas Advisory Council.

Joe Plotkin is Director, Marketing/DSL for, the independent ISP in New York City, and on the Board of Directors of NYCwireless. is pro-privacy, anti-censorship, and supports net neutrality. Bway was an early champion of the free public wireless Internet movement. NYCwireless is a non-profit organization that advocates for, and enables the growth of free, public wireless networks.

Joe is also Senior Strategist for, an alliance for customer rights in telecommunications. An outspoken advocate for broadband connectivity as well as regulatory fairness, he has lobbied on behalf of ISPs in Washington, D.C. and has been quoted frequently in the press. Joe received a Master's degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

David Rosen
is a business-development consultant who previously served on the management teams taking two media-tech companies public. He also served on the boards of directors/advisors of the Independent Television Service (PBS, Treasurer), Film Arts Foundation, the MoMA’s Video Collection and Rep. Richard Gephardt.

He is author of Off-Hollywood: The Making & Marketing of Independent Films (Grove), originally commissioned by the Sundance Institute and the Independent Feature Project (IFP). He regularly contributes to Filmmaker Magazine, MediaChannel, FilmInFocus, Neiman Watchdog, CounterPunch, Z-Magazine, Hollywood Reporter, San Francisco Focus and other publications.

David hosts the monthly IIFF-IFP film & media financing seminar at the School of Visual Arts.

Among his most recent publications are:
"The Great Broadband Scam: Why the Recovery Plan will Fail to Meet America's Broadband Needs," MediaChannel, February 25, 2009.
“Ways of Seeing: Movies on Mobile Devices,” FilmInFocus, November 19, 2008
“The Next Telecom War: Moving from Net Neutrality to Infrastructure Common Carriage,” Filmmaker Magazine, Summer 2008.

Dana Spiegel - NYCwireless, President and Executive Director
Dana Spiegel is an independent software consultant and founder of sociableDESIGN, a software and consulting firm that specializes in social software and wireless technology research and development. He has worked with industry leading companies and small start-ups including Yahoo!, Nike, Primedia, IBM, OnForce, and Bloostone to develop products and programs that utilize innovative social software and integrate new wireless technologies. He has also appeared as a speaker at Wireless and Media Industry conferences, and has guest lectured at NYU, SUNY Purchase, Parsons School of Design, and The New School University. Dana holds a Bachelors Degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from MIT and a Masters Degree in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Laboratory's Sociable Media Group.

Monday, February 23, 2009

EVENT: A 25th Anniversary Assessment of the Breakup of AT&T

Has Divestiture Worked?
A 25th Anniversary Assessment of the Breakup of AT&T

LOCATION: New York University, Warren Weaver Hall
251 Mercer St.
Room 109 (Note: enter via W. 4th St. due to construction), New York, NY 10012
(RSVP requested, by email to: -or- on Facebook, LinkedIn or MeetUp ISOC-NY)

In 1984, AT&T, then the largest company in the U.S., was broken up because of the monopoly controls “Ma Bell” had over telecommunications. Known as “Divestiture”, we have reached the 25th anniversary of the AT&T breakup and it is time to look carefully and critically at the deregulation of telecommunications to evaluate the effectiveness of this important economic policy.

Open Infrastructure Alliance, (OIA) together with the Internet Society, (ISOC) New York chapter, is convening a series of panels to dialog on the deregulation of the telecommunications industry. Among the key issues to be considered are:

* Has divestiture worked? A careful examination of the consequences of divestiture and deregulation over the last 25 years.

* America is ranked 15th in the world in broadband. What role does America’s closed broadband networks (e.g., Verizon's FiOS and AT&T's U-Verse) play in such a ranking? Do closed networks fulfill last mile requirements of the Telecom Act of 1996?

* The Obama administration and Congress have put together a massive economic stimulus package, including broadband infrastructure projects. Does this new legislation address the major issues or are other steps necessary?

* The dialogue will assess whether deregulation has helped or harmed America's digital future. What role should a new, reconstituted FCC play? What policies and programs are needed to make America #1 again in technology, broadband and the internet?

Confirmed Speakers: (More to come)

• Tom Allibone, LTC Consulting
• Jonathan Askin, Esq, Brooklyn Law School
• Dave Burstein, DSL Prime
• Frank A. Coluccio, Cirrant Partners Inc
• Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America
• Alex Goldman, ISP Planet
• Fred Goldstein, Ionary Consulting
• Bruce Kushnick, New Networks
• Dean Landsman, Landsman Communications Group
• Scott McCollough, Esq.
• Joe Plotkin,
• David Rosen, consultant
• Dana Spiegel, NYCwireless

Some of the Issues:


• A 25 year analysis of the Age of the Bell companies.
• How did America become 15th in the world in broadband?
• What is the role of the cable and phone companies?
• What happened to the price of phone service?
• Is wireless overtaking wireline services?


• Has deregulation helped or harmed the America’s digital future?
• How do we deal with corporate controls over the FCC, or should we scrap the FCC?
• How do we fund and create open, ubiquitous, high-speed networks?
• What should happen next with wireless services?
• What is the status of competition today, and what needs to be changed for the future?
• What applications are going to drive the next generation?
• Is it time for another divestiture or other regulatory changes?

For More Information:

• Joe Plotkin
T: 646-502-9796

Internet Society, New York Chapter