Major changes to telecom laws needed but not likely

"In a world of convergence where the triple play has become the norm, the framework that the 1934 act has set up doesn't make a lot of sense," she said here at CES. "The problem is getting something through Congress."

There was an attempt in the 109th Congress, she said, but it quickly died.

"The legislative process is slow and clunky and not well-suited to doing overhauls to big pieces of legislation."

Susan Crawford, former technology advisor in the White House, predicts it will take another five to 10 years to "revamp the act to reflect the realities."

"Yes, it's time. And it's also impossible," she said.

The Federal Communications Commission and National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an arm of the Commerce Department, don't necessarily need Congress's approval to enact changes to the current system. But it would give regulators a clearer picture about the "rules of the game," Crawford said.