Catholic University’s law school was home base during the week of June 11-15 for 17 telecommunications professionals, regulators, and attorneys from the developing world, who were offered tuition-free professional training by the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI).
The nearly 30 year-old program invites senior U.S. government officials and private sector volunteers to share American telecommunications knowledge and expertise with women and men dedicated to making modern communications a reality throughout the developing world.
The Columbus School of Law’s role as a site host in 2012 was arranged by Professor Donna Coleman Gregg, director of the law school’s Institute for Communications Law Studies.
At different locations throughout the law school during the week, the visiting information and communications technology professionals heard from a variety of U.S. officials representing the FCC, Internet-related non-profit associations, private industry groups, and law firms. They were briefed on U.S. technological and regulatory developments, and best practices in such areas as spectrum management, on-line safety, and emergency communications.
Among the week’s highlights was “The Regulators’ Perspective: A Roundtable Discussion with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn,” offered on June 14. Clyburn (center, top photo) discussed the FCC’s efforts to make broadband and other communications technology available to every American. She also urged the group to think about the symbolic content, not just the delivery systems, of programs aired in their home nations.
“We want to see all colors of people, as represented in this room, on television,” Clyburn said. “Everyone should have the opportunity to see ourselves as part of the communications experience.”
The Columbus School of Law offered its own expertise to the mix. Professor Gregg provided a lecture on the rule of law on the first day; later in the week Professor Megan La Belle discussed the role of intellectual property law in telecommunication regulation. Staff members Constantia Dedoulis and Margaret Pooley also presented to the group on the law school’s Master of Laws Program in Communications Law.
The visitors broke away from the lectures and seminars several times during the week to tour the U.S. Capitol, C-SPAN, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The program drew to a close on June 15 with an address from Ambassador Richard M. Russell, who currently serves as the Republican Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Since 1983, the USTTI has offered a total of 1,795 diverse training courses and graduated 8,554 women and men who are the key IT-communications regulators, managers, and service providers in 170 developing countries.