Tuesday, February 24, 2015

April 7: Cleveland - Issues in Post-Conflict and Small Island State Regulation of Telecommunications Markets

One of the greatest challenges faced by governments of post-conflict and small island nations (frequently referred to as Small Island Developing States, or “SIDS”) is attracting capital necessary for increasing job opportunities and prosperity for their citizens. Prompted in part by World Bank studies that claim a correlation between increased Internet penetration and economic growth, many of these countries view developing the information, communications and technology (“ICT”) sector of their economies as a critical component of ensuring domestic stability.
Undertaking ICT initiatives in such environments is not without risk. Governments seeking to attract investors through promises of high returns must also be sensitive to consumer demand for affordable and high quality service. Small market size makes monopolization an ongoing concern, and governments must be vigilant for anti-competitive conduct where competition exists. Perhaps most importantly, Internet-fueled exposure to ideas from developed nations often prompt calls for filtering and censorship antithetical to the investors’ core beliefs and in conflict with their business plans.
The presentation will provide an overview of the issues faced by regulators in Iraq, Afghanistan, and certain Caribbean SIDS as they attempt to balance the concerns of citizens, legislatures, investors, and the media when the complexities of the Information Age come to their countries.
Issues in Post-Conflict and Small Island State Regulation of Telecommunications Markets
The Institute for Global Security Law & Policy Distinguished Lecture
April 7, 2015
4:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Moot Courtroom (A59)
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
Marc Lipton, a 1977 Case Law graduate, Member of the Order of Barristers, and winner of the school’s Heiss Labor Law Award, began his legal career at a small Chicago labor boutique, Edes and Rosen. He moved to in-house practice at Illinois Bell Telephone in 1979, and over the last thirty-plus years has actively participated in the legal, regulatory, and business decisions that prompted seismic change in the telecommunications industry and in the way people interact with one another. Issues that have crossed Marc’s desk include the post-divestiture restructure of the former Bell System, the deregulation of pricing, the development, regulation and censorship of the internet, the increasing demand for faster consumer broadband, and the rapid adoption and evolution of wireless technologies. He is licensed in both Illinois and Texas, where he worked for AT&T and its predecessor companies until 2011, when he retired as an Associate General Counsel. As part of the company’s community outreach when its headquarters shifted from San Antonio to Dallas, Marc served for three years as the volunteer supervising attorney for the Small Business Clinic at SMU’s Dedman School of Law and taught one semester of the school’s classroom course, “Counseling the Small Business Owner,” as an adjunct lecturer. He has also lectured on telecommunications law and regulation at DePaul, Seton Hall, and Northwestern University Law School.
Marc’s elected to leave AT&T to accept the opportunity to work for the United States Department of Defense and Department of State in Baghdad, helping those agencies advise the Iraqi government on growing and regulating its nascent telecom market. When the civilian contractors left Iraq ahead of the military withdrawal, Marc returned to the US, formed his own consulting firm, and won a series of World Bank-funded contracts to consult for the Afghan government in Kabul. He has spent most of the last three years advising Afghanistan’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority on the subjects of Open Access, electronic government and market development. His most recent project takes him to the Caribbean, where the World Bank is funding three nations’ efforts to improve their internal government communications and increase internet penetration among their citizens.
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
1 hour of in-person CLE credit available, pending approval
Free and open to the public. Pre-registration required.
More Information and Registration