Week ahead in tech: Telecom Act turns 20

Happy anniversary, 1996 Telecommunications Act!

Twenty years ago on Monday, then-President Bill Clinton signed the reform measure into law, and it's returning to center stage this week with a number of events revisiting the landmark act.

The law is sure to be a hot topic at a Wednesday policy summit hosted by INCOMPASS, the communications trade group previously known as COMPTEL.

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The event will feature keynotes from Jonathan Sallet, the Federal Communications Commission's general counsel, who last year argued in court for the controversial net neutrality rules, and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). It will also include panel discussions with representatives from companies like Uber, Amazon and Netflix.

An afternoon session will be dedicated to the 1996 Act and feature Colin Crowell, vice president of global public policy at Twitter, and FCC special counsel Katie King, among others. The event will culminate in a party that evening.

To mark the 20th anniversary on Tuesday, the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy is hosting a talk with some of the drafters of the act, asking them about future changes.

Also on Tuesday, trade group CTIA-The Wireless Association will be holding a forum on 5G featuring presentations from Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. Representatives of major companies in the wireless sector are also scheduled to participate.

The technology trade group CompTIA is holding a policy summit and congressional speakers series next week at Capitol Hill's Liaison Hotel.

The event, which runs Tuesday and Wednesday, will hit topics including the presidential election and the Internet of things. It will also include talks from a number of lawmakers and FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny.

The group will also be giving "Tech Champion" awards to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).

Separately on Wednesday, the Innovation Alliance, a coalition of tech research companies, will hand out awards to Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.). The trade group has been most active in opposing broad changes to the patent litigation system, which has so far paid off with reform bills stalling in both chambers.

 

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