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


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