Internet and Telecommunication Regulation

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
TUE, THU 9:05 - 10:20 am TNH 3.126

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Final exam May 7, 2020


This introductory course examines the policies, laws and regulations applicable to important and controversial industry segments of the United States – the Internet and telecommunications. The course will cover wireline, wireless, cable, video, satellite, Internet and broadband technologies/services. The course will review how these exciting, dynamic platforms are converging. This study will begin with a review historical telecommunication (and broadcast) regulatory policy such as Universal Service that shaped the early industry. The course will discuss how these past regulatory approaches are intertwined with current policy debates such as Net Neutrality and Privacy. Topics will include the Communications Act of 1934 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This survey course will also address important subjects such as divestiture, mergers, scope of regulatory treatment, the “public interest” standard, “ancillary jurisdiction,” and use of valuable spectrum policies. Key terms and characteristics of the different modes of communication will be discussed. Interesting and current topics such as technological convergence and “permissionless innovation” and how to address the growth of social media will be discussed. The course will conclude with a look towards the future of regulation in these areas and what changes, if any,  to related laws may be warranted in the future (e.g., how should Section 230 of the Telecom Act be amended).

 One goal of the course is to introduce students to important policy and legal concepts and issues in industries and highlight the technology that impacts their daily lives (e.g., use of smartphones and the Internet of Things). In addition, perhaps the course will reveal an area of possible career interest whether it be in the government, industry, consumer or private practice arenas.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

Internet and Telecommunication Regulation *
Stuart Minor Benjamin, James B. Speta
Carolina Academic Press , edition: 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5310-1090-4
Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom (optional)
Adam Thierer
Mercatus Center at George Mason University , edition: 2016 (Revised Edition)
ISBN: 9781942951247
Digital Crossroads: Telecommunications Law and Policy in the Internet Age (optional)
Jonathan E. Nuechterlein and Philip J. Weise
MIT Press , edition: Second Edition
ISBN: 978-0-262-51960-1
The Master Switch (optional)
Tim Wu
Vintage Books , edition: 2011
ISBN: 978-0-307-39099-8
U.S. Private-Sector Privacy: Law and Practice for Information Privacy Professional (optional)
Peter Swire, DeBrae Kennedy-Mayo
International Association of Privacy Professionals , edition: 2018 (Second Edition)
ISBN: 978-0-9983223-6-0
The Twenty-Six Words that Created the Internet (optional)
Jeff Kosseff
Cornell University Press , edition: 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5017-1441-2


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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
04/20/2020 Exam information updated