Internet and Telecommunication Regulation

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time
TUE, THU 9:05 - 10:20 am

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Final May 4, 2022


Same as LAW 379M, Internet and Telecommunication Regulation.

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 survey course will cover wireline, wireless (e.g., 5G), 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, Privacy and rural broadband. Topics will include the Communications Act of 1934 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This 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, the impact of Covid on this area, “permissionless innovation” and how to address the growth and power of social media (and providers) 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., if and how should Section 230 of the Telecom Act be amended). A review of what has been deemed to be “acceptable and harmful” content on various platforms will be explored.

 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.