The Catholic University of America

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell speaks to many of the leading figures
in the telecomm industry at the Columbus School of Law on March 15th.

Our Wireless Future

If you think that MP3 files or movies that are downloadable to cell phones are cool right now, you haven't seen anything yet. Wireless communication technologies are enjoying astonishing growth in the United States, and the majority of them are aimed at mobile devices such as phones, blackberries and other tools.

Making sure that regulators keep up with swiftly mutating technologies was a chief focus of a daylong symposium held at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law on March 15, 2007.

"Content Abundance in a Multimedia World: Challenges and Opportunities for Multi-Platform Content Delivery and Regulation" brought together nearly two dozen leaders in the communications field, academia and government to debate the challenges and opportunities presented by today's age of media digitization. Panelists include representatives from Verizon, Samsung, Time Warner, Google, The Consumer Electronics Association, the Federal Trade Commission, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the National Association of Broadcasters and several prominent area law firms.

The wide-ranging discussions centered around one inescapable fact, as noted by FCC Commission and keynote speaker Robert M. McDowell, "Broadband has had the fastest penetration rate of any technology in history, faster than radio, TV or anything else you can name."

The morning's second panel discussed the role of regulations

in a convergent environment.

Panelists analyzed the proper role of government in the support of broadband technology, as well as how to best educate eager consumers about the many choices that will be available in the near future. For example, the FCC is planning soon to auction a slice of radio wave spectrum in the 700 megahertz bandwidth because those frequencies are optimal for many hand-held communications devices.

"This incredibly powerful wave of consumer demand pushes providers to offer faster and faster pipelines," said McDowell, noting that the Internet itself is inexorably moving away from plug-ins and toward wireless delivery of content.

The symposium was organized and sponsored by CommLaw Conspectus: Journal of Communications Law & Policy and The Institute for Communications Law Studies at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, in association with the Federal Communications Bar Association.