February 02, 2006

Symposium will explore Telecommunications Act

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A retrospective look at the Telecommunications Act of 1996 is the focus of an upcoming symposium at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

"The Telecommunications Act of 1996: A 10th Anniversary Retrospective," begins at 8 a.m., Monday, Feb. 13, at the SIUC law school's Hiram H. Lesar Law Building Auditorium. The symposium is free and open to the public. Luncheon costs $20.

The symposium will explore a variety of telecommunications issues during panel discussions, including broadcasting, cable and satellite technologies and the Internet.

Michael Botein, a distinguished University visiting professor at the SIUC law school, said the symposium is timely. There is legislation pending that would "drastically amend" the 1996 Telecommunications Act, and the U.S. Senate started hearings last month, said Botein, who is also a professor of law and media center director at the New York School of Law.


Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the symposium. The best time for interviews is during lunch. For more information, contact distinguished University visiting professor Michael Botein at 973/761-6162 or mbotein@siu.edu


Among the current issues is telephone service providers offering video without the need for local franchises, which is a requirement for cable systems. While the act imposed some new regulations, people did not foresee issues such as telephone companies going into the video market and competing with cable companies, Botein said.

The Honorable Willem F. Korthals Altes, an appellate court justice in The Netherlands and an expert on media and communications law, will deliver the luncheon address. Altes is a former associate professor and head of education and research at the University of Amsterdam, and will give a European perspective on the issues.

The symposium schedule and panelists are:

  • 8 a.m. – Registration and continental breakfast
  • 8:30 a.m. -- Welcoming remarks, SIUC law school Dean Peter C. Alexander.
  • 8:40 a.m. – Keynote address, Richard E. Wiley, senior partner, Wiley, Rein and Fielding, a Washington, D.C., law firm with one of the largest communications practices in the country. Wiley was also a former chairman and commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission from 1970 to 1977.
  • 9:30 a.m. – Panel discussion: D. Adam Candeub, professor, Michigan State University College of Law; Larry F. Darby, economic and financial consultant, Darby & Associates, Washington, D.C.; H. James Nelson, assistant professor, management, SIUC.
  • 11:30 a.m. – Luncheon address: Willem F. Korthals Altes,
  • 1:15 p.m., -- Broadcasting panel discussion: Jane E. Mago, general counsel for National Association of Broadcasters; Andrew Schwartzman, president and CEO, Media Access Project.
  • 2:30 p.m. – Cable panel discussion: Robert Corn-Revere, communications law and media attorney, Davis Wright Tremain, Washington, D.C.; Frank W. Lloyd III, attorney, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Pope, Washington, D.C.

Papers that are being presented will be printed in the SIU Law Journal, and also be edited for broadcast in New York, Botein said.

Creating citizen-leaders with global perspectives is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.