I don’t usually regret working 1000 miles from Washington, but today I do. George Mason University next week will be bringing together the past two former FCC chairmen and a number of former staffers to discuss telecom policy points where there is significant bi-partisan consensus. Here’s an excerpt from the mini-conference description, which can be found, with an agenda, here.
This conference of the Information Economy Project at George Mason University brings together two former chairmen of the Federal Communications Commission Ã¢â?¬â?? William Kennard, who served under President Clinton, and Michael Powell, who served under President George W. Bush Ã¢â?¬â?? with top former officials familiar with the agency’s agenda, structure, and day-by-day operations to discuss just such possibilities for reform.
It’s set for 8:30 a.m. next Tuesday, Sept. 16, at the National Press Club. I hope I don’t sound too much like a technogeek when I say this, but to me the most exciting thing about this year’s election is that it will result in an FCC makeover. And forgive me for saying so, but no matter who wins, the FCC leadership can’t help but be better. What’s most troubling is how the adoption of certain policy positions in areas such as network neutrality, media consolidation and fairness doctrine have become litmus tests for party affiliation, and almost all empirical research and analysis, by either side, has been closed off. Cheers to GMU for attempting to negotiate a meeting of policy minds in advance of the election, perhaps hoping some of this sensibility spills over into next year. Also, a tip of the hat to Drew Clark at Technology Liberation Front for the note.