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Law Courses Catalog

Telecommunications Law

  • Typically offered every other year

NOTE: This course description is new for the 2017-2018 academic year. You may read the prior course description immediately below the new one. 

2017-2018

This course will examine significant recent developments and the interplay of current legal and policy issues in the rapidly evolving law of telecommunications regulation. Beginning with an introduction to the basic structural concepts of telecommunications regulation set forth in the Communications Act of 1934, we will explore major issues raised by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and subsequent developments, including the removal of market barriers for the Baby Bells after the breakup of AT&T, the rise of cable, wireless, and Internet Protocol (IP) platforms, the continuing role of the Federal Communications Commission, the interplay between state and federal regulation amid judicial and legislative constraints, the impact on the law of the convergence of “classic” telecommunications with new technologies and platforms subject to differing regulatory regimes (e.g. cable, wireless, Internet), the status of consumer protection in a rapidly consolidating marketplace, and the future of the Communications Act and public interest policies (such as net neutrality) as the FCC takes a conservative turn under the Trump administration. The course grade will be based on a full-length paper, 1-2 short quizzes and regular class attendance and participation.

Meets W.I.E writing requirement, or Capstone writing requirement (upon application by student and prior approval of Professor and Associate Dean for Student Affairs)

 

NOTE: The below course description applied in academic years prior to 2017-2018.

This seminar will examine significant recent developments and the interplay of current legal and policy issues in the rapidly evolving law of telecommunications regulation. Beginning with an introduction to the basic structural concepts of telecommunications regulation set forth in the Communications Act of 1934, we will explore major issues raised by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and subsequent developments, including the removal of market barriers for the Baby Bells after the breakup of AT&T, the rise of cable, wireless, and Internet Protocol (IP) platforms, the continuing role of the Federal Communications Commission, the interplay between state and federal regulation amid judicial and legislative constraints, the impact on the law of the convergence of “classic” telecommunications with new technologies and platforms subject to differing regulatory regimes (e.g. cable, wireless, Internet), the status of consumer protection in a rapidly consolidating marketplace, and the future of the Communications Act as Congress and the industry move forward with deliberations on significant structural changes. The seminar grade will be based on a full-length paper, 1-2 short quizzes and regular class attendance and participation.

Meets W.I.E writing requirement, or Capstone writing requirement (upon application by student and prior approval of Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs)