Advanced Topics in Digital Media
Digital Media and Telecoms Law and Regulation: Advanced Topics
This seminar covers legal, policy, regulatory, and economic aspects of the US’s migration from analog to digital transmission in the last generation. It will deal with mass media (broadcasting, cable, streaming video) and telecommunications (Internet, digital video, broadband). The discussion will begin with the migration of broadcast television from analog to digital, to give background in chronological and political factors. It then will move on development of digital broadband transmission for mass media, telecommunications, and other applications; the emphasis will be on the Broadband Stimulus Act and the FCC’s National Broadband Plan. We then will analyze three currently controversial issues in the digital environment: (1) the FCC’s auction of radio frequency (RF) spectrum for mobile and other telecommunications applications; (2) the Commission’s Open Internet Policy, prohibiting discrimination in the sale of RF spectrum among Internet users; and (3) FCC “incentive auctions” to promote sale of allegedly underutilized broadcast frequencies through the FCC as a broker, to make available more spectrum for mobile, telecommunications, and other applications.
Each student will be expected to write a 10-20 page paper on a topic of his or her choice, under the teacher’s supervision.