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The New America Foundation/Wireless Future Program cordially invites you and your colleagues to a lunch policy forum:
Wireless Net Neutrality:
Should Carterfone and Broadband Nondiscrimination Rules Apply to Cellular?
Professor, Columbia University Law School
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, CTIA- The Wireless Association
Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Skype
Senior Policy Analyst, Consumers Union
Managing Director, Stifel Nicolaus
Vice President and Director, Wireless Future Program, New America Foundation
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
12:00 â€“ 2:00 PM
New America Foundation*
1630 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 7th Floor
*NOTE: This event venue is tentative. We will send a further email if changes occur.
As broadband data communication moves into the mobile, wireless world, should basic concepts of â€œnetwork neutralityâ€ that exist in the wireline world be applied to the wireless industry? On February 21, Voice-over-IP provider Skype filed a petition requesting that the FCC affirm the right of consumers to attach any legal device (such as a VoIP-enabled cell phone) to cellular networks, as embodied in the Commissionâ€™s Carterfone rules that are currently observed in the wireline telephone world.
Skypeâ€™s petition referred extensively to evidence and arguments from a new paper released by the New America Foundation, authored by network neutrality expert Tim Wu. In the paper, entitled, â€œWireless Net Neutrality: Cellular Carterfone and Consumer Choice in Mobile Broadband,â€ Wu offers a scathing critique of todayâ€™s dominant mobile phone carriers. He demonstrates that wireless carriers inhibit innovation and violate network neutrality by exerting undue control over the wireless device and applications industries, and by offering discriminatory broadband data services with undisclosed bandwidth limits and restrictions on access to content and applications. The report recommends, among other things, applying the FCCâ€™s Carterfone rules and other network neutrality principles to the world of mobile phones in order to jumpstart innovation and enhance consumer welfare.
The cellular industry disagrees with the call to apply network neutrality principles to the wireless world, arguing that current industry practices already promote consumer welfare and are necessary to maintain network service and security. At this lunchtime policy forum, representatives from different sides of the debate will weigh in. Tim Wu will introduce his headline-grabbing new paper. Christopher Libertelli of Skype and consumer advocate Jeannine Kenney will discuss why wireless network neutrality will benefit innovators and consumers. Michael Altschul of CTIA will argue why carriers believe wireless network neutrality is unnecessary. Investment analyst Blair Levin will discuss the potential market implications of applying network neutrality to the wireless industry.
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