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Hot Topics at the FCC

April 17, 2013

The Emerging Wireless SIG Presents…

Howard Symons, chair of Mintz Levin’s Communications practice, will talk about two areas that are currently the subject of intensive activity at the Federal Communications Commission today:  spectrum policy, and how the transition to IP networks affects telecommunications policy.  The Commission is considering a range of spectrum issues, including whether to impose caps on the amount of spectrum an entity can hold or bid on in spectrum auctions; how to structure the incentive auction of reclaimed broadcast spectrum, as required by the Spectrum Act; and the proper balance between licensed and unlicensed uses of spectrum. The transition to all-IP networks raises significant issues about the applicability of interconnection and other legacy telecommunications regulations in an IP world.  Some have even argued that the FCC lacks authority over IP providers because the Communications Act is specifically limited to “common carriers.”  The Commission has set up a Technology Transitions Task Force to look at these and other issues, and AT&T has proposed that incumbent carriers be allowed to conduct deregulatory “trial runs” in a few areas where they could replace their existing networks with IP facilities and be free of legacy rules.


Howard Symons
Member, Mintz Levin
Howard is Chair of the firm’s Communications Practice. A communications industry veteran with 30 years of experience, including several years as an advisor to key members of Congress on landmark policy issues, he represents cable, wireless, and telecommunications companies and trade associations on a wide range of issues before Congress, regulatory bodies, and the courts. Before joining the firm, Howard served as senior counsel to the Subcommittee on Telecommunications in the US House of Representatives. During his four years in that capacity, he was responsible for the development of legislation on matters ranging from domestic telephone policy and international telecommunications to cable franchising, including serving as one of the principal drafters of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984. He was also responsible for the subcommittee’s oversight of Federal Communications Commission activities in the areas of telephone and cable policy. From 1978 to 1981, Howard was a staff attorney with Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, a public interest group founded by Ralph Nader. While at Congress Watch, he was responsible for telecommunications policy issues. Howard has served as an adjunct professor at the National Law Center of George Washington University, where he taught a course in telecommunications law and regulation. He is the author of “The Communications Policy Process,” in New Directions in Telecommunications Policy (Duke University Press, 1989).

Recognitions & Awards:
Washington DC Super Lawyers: Communications (2012)
National Cable & Telecommunications Association Vanguard Award (2010)
Chambers USA: District of Columbia – Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite (2000 –2012)
Best Lawyers in America: Communications Law (2006 – 2013) Boston


Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

5:30PM Registration/Networking/Refreshments
6:00PM Program Begins
7:30PM Program Ends

mintz levin
3580 Carmel Mountain Road Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92130

Pre-Registration: (Please pre-register by noon on 4/16/13)
$10.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$20.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

At the Door:
$20.00 – CommNexus Sponsor
$30.00 – Non-Sponsor
FREE –  Mentor Sponsor

Students, Military & Press: FREE



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Contact Brittany Bjerke at


April 17, 2013
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