The Catholic University of America




Telecom Policymakers from Around the World Attend Seminar at CUA Law


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Twenty-one regulators and telecom lawyers from a dozen countries attended a week-long course on the “Rule of Law and Best Practices in Telecommunications Regulation,” hosted by The Columbus School of Law from July 22-26.
It was the second year in a row that the law school has been the site of the course, which the law school’s Institute for Communications Law Studies helped to originate in 2012. The sessions are held under the auspices of the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) and provide training for communications professionals, regulators, and entrepreneurs from the developing world. 
With telecommunications as one of the fastest changing industries in existence, the goal of the USTTI conference was to keep experts from developing countries apace with the ideas and approaches than can lead to the development of best practices in telecommunication regulation suitable to a variety of settings and circumstances.
Through a series of lectures, tours, and group problem-solving, participants come away with a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of various regulatory practices, procedures, and approaches in use or under consideration in the United States and elsewhere.

Organized by Professor Donna Gregg, director of Catholic University’s Institute for Communications Law Studies, this year’s program brought the international group into contact with some of the best minds in the business, including a presentation by CUA Law alumna Kathleen Quinn Abernathy, current executive vice president of external affairs for Frontier Communications, Inc. and a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.
Other speakers throughout the week included  Ambassador David Gross, one of the world’s foremost experts on international telecommunications and someone who has led more U.S. delegations to major international telecommunication conferences than anyone else in modern history; Anna Gomez, former deputy assistant secretary for communications and information, National Telecommunication and Information Administration, U.S. Dept. of Commerce; and Dr. Brian Fontes, CEO of the National Emergency Number Association.
The week’s agenda also offered learning opportunities outside the classroom. The group toured the U.S. Capitol, C-SPAN, FCC headquarters, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a walk-through guided by Professor Lucia Silecchia.
Supplementary presentations also included a lecture on the impact of intellectual property issues on telecom regulation by Professor Megan La Belle. Former FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell delivered remarks at the closing luncheon.
The 2013 USTTI conference concluded with the USTTI’s presentation of certificates of successful completion to the course participants. Countries represented included Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Jamaica, Kuwait, Malawi, Nigeria, Philippines, St. Kitts and Thailand.
Reflecting on the week, Professor Gregg said, “It’s a privilege to work with the USTTI on this program. Telecommunication has the ability to bridge gaps and make the world a smaller place. Our week together helped all those who participated in the course to learn from each other while discovering best practices in telecommunication regulation.”