NETW 584 Telecom Laws and Regulations



Week 1

Week 1 DQ 1

What gives the federal government the right to regulate the Telecommunications arena, and what is the purpose of laws and regulations. Do you think we need laws and regulation in the telecommunications field at all? Why or why not? 

Week 1 DQ 2

What is the role of the FCC in the Telecommunications field? What is the purpose for the creation of the governing statute for the regulation of telecommunications in the United States (the Communications Act of 1934)? Why was it necessary for the federal government to create the FCC? What are the pros and cons to this approach by the federal government? Do you agree with this regulatory approach or was there a better methodology you would have employed? What are the pros and cons in your mind to this approach to the regulation of Telecommunications? 



Week 2

Week 2 DQ 1

Do you think broadcast stations should operate under the Public Trustee doctrine? 

Week 2 DQ 2

Based on your understanding of “natural monopolies,” do you think the cable industry today should be considered a natural monopoly? Why or why not? (Based on your reading, research and analysis in the textbook, and other relevant sources) 

Week 2 Assignments:

Course Project (Internet Use, Awareness of Use, and Regulation)

Natural Monopoly Case Study



Week 3

Week 3 DQ 1

Was regulation an alternative to competition in the early years of the telephone industry? Do you think regulation and/or competition in the early years of the telephone industry served the “best interest” of consumers, why or why not? 

Week 3 DQ 2

T. Vail believed that his company, AT&T, should be considered a natural monopoly. What were his arguments, do you agree or disagree, why or why not? 

Week 3 Course Project:

Course Project, Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Policy



Week 4

Week 4 DQ 1

What are some of the major provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996? What was the fundamental goal and purpose of the provisions in the Act? 

Week 4 DQ 2

VoIP has been the subject of several FCC NPRMs (Notice of Proposed Rule Making). What is VoIP and why does it present a regulatory challenge? 


Week 4 Midterm Exam


Question :

(TCO B) Which of the following statements is correct about the Structure of the 1934 Act?    


Question :

(TCO D) Which of the following industries or companies is generally considered a natural monopoly according to Judge Posner’s opinion in the Omega Satellite case?    


Question :

(TCO B) Choose the correct standard that the Communications Act directs the FCC to apply in a variety of settings, ranging from licensing to broadcasters to authorizing service operations by telecommunications carriers. This phrase appears throughout the 1934 Communications Act.    


Question :

(TCO B) Which of the following terms below is known as: “a set of decisions regarding how radio spectrum will be used”? The______ for a given block of spectrum typically establishes (1) which services can be offered, (2) how the block will be divided both across and within geographical areas, and (3) the rules for assigning licenses to use that spectrum to specific parties.    


Question :

(TCO F) Which of the following terms is known as a method of setting prices applicable in many situations, including situations where a single firm or entity must recover fixed costs and can do so by manipulating prices on more than one good? This form of pricing suggests that the most efficient way to recover those fixed costs is to set price levels for the goods such that, when comparing the goods, the good for which consumers are less sensitive to price is priced such that there is a greater difference between price and marginal cost than there is for the good for which consumers are more sensitive to price. The correct answer is_____    


Question :

(TCO A) Explain and discuss briefly the concept of why telecommunications technologies are to some degree substitutable.
NOTE: Answer may be between 10 to 15 lines (or two paragraphs)    


Question :

(TCO A) What section of the 1934 Act gives the Commission (FCC) the right to regulate the spectrum in a broad manner? What does it state?    


Question :

(TCO C) Why did the 1985 Report and the 1987 Order seem to lump together all broadcasters and all markets? But wouldn’t the case for retention be stronger in some markets than in others? For instance, isn’t the case for retaining the fairness doctrine stronger for VHF television than AM or FM radio? What is the significance of the fact that the FCC did not draw such a distinction? Would it have been wiser to retain the fairness doctrine for certain markets? If so, how should such markets be identified and defined? Discuss.    


Question :

(TCO C) Explain the concept, theories, and implications of a public trustee. In other words, what exactly is a public trustee in a broadcast sense? Do you agree with the concept of a public trustee in the telecommunications industry, why or why not?
NOTE: Answer may be between 10 to 15 lines or more if you would like (or two paragraphs)    


Question :

(TCO D) Evaluate the benefits and risks of Multichannel Video Programming Distribution (MVPD) regulation. Do you think there should be more or less regulation in the cable television market, why or why not?    


Question :

(TCO E, F) The FCC generally seemed to regulate cable television with an eye toward protecting the pre-existing broadcast industry. Why did the FCC seem to favor broadcast? Discuss.    


Question :

(TCO E, F) What was the fundamental problem of interconnection that involved Bell and the Independent Telephone Companies?    





Week 5

Week 5 DQ 1

What are some of the major policies and provisions under the 1996 Act in regards to unbundled network elements (UNEs), interconnection, and BOC entry into long distance telephony? 

Week 5 DQ 2

What are some of the major provisions, principles, and changes in regards to funding mechanisms for universal service under the 1996 Act? 


Week 5 Assignment:

Annotated Bibliography (Internet Acceptable Use and Regulation Policy)



Week 6

Week 6 DQ 1

To what extent should there be regulation of content on the Internet, if at all? What factors and principles should the federal government take into account when considering indecency regulation issues? 

Week 6 DQ 2

How has the FCC functioned as an “enabler” and “promoter” for the development of “advanced telecommunications services”?



Week 7

Week 7 DQ 1

What are some of the historical and current considerations by the Commission in regards to the allowance of mergers in the telecommunications industry? 

Week 7 DQ 2

What were some of the principal reasons why the FCC approved the mergers of SBC Communications, Inc. with AT&T Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. with MCI, Inc.? 


Week 7 Course Project:

Course Project, Internet Acceptable Use & Regulation