Space, telecom law goes inside the beltway

Nov 13th, 2008 | By | Category: Campus News, November 13, 2008

Campus program hosts conference in Washington, D.C.

“Space and Telecommunications Law and Policy: Looking Back at the Past Eight Years, Looking Toward the Next Four” is the theme of a conference Nov. 13-14 in Washington, D.C., where experts and policymakers in communication and space will hear and discuss legal issues and policies in the industry.

The conference at the Washington Court Hotel is hosted by the University of Nebraska College of Law’s Space and Telecommunications Law program, the only one of its kind in the U.S.

Telecommunications topics include wireless issues, network neutrality, international issues, broadband policy and universal access. Space law topics include the legal and policy aspects of government space programs and private space travel and tourism, as well as the launch and satellite insurance and the controversial issue of the International Traffic in Arms regulations as applied to space activities.

“There have been enormous changes in the space and telecommunications legal domains in the past eight years and clearly more are on the horizon. This conference brings together the best legal minds in these areas for a look back and a look forward,” said Matt Schaefer, director of the Space and Telecommunications Law Program at the University of Nebraska and organizer of the conference. “In the space arena, we are entering a new era of increased private sector activity, and that means new regulations that will need adjusting and monitoring. In the telecom arena, we have seen a world move toward a mobile, broadband, multimedia, optical infrastructure and these new technologies challenge the law to adjust. Given the critical importance of space and telecommunications to U.S. national security and economic well-being, the legal approaches to new activities and technologies must be carefully considered.”

FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein is a keynote speaker on Nov. 13 and Lon Levin, co-founder of XM Satellite Radio, is a keynote speaker on Nov. 14.

Four sessions each day will include introductory comments, moderated questions, comments and discussion. The first day is on telecommunications law and policy. Presenters on the topic of Network Neutrality include Marvin Ammori, professor of Law, University of Nebraska College of Law and former general counsel for the Free Press. The second day, the conference shifts focus to space law and policy, including private space activities. Frans Von Der Dunk, professor of law at NU, will present on governmental space programs.

— Story Kelly Bartling, University Communications

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