Telecommunications | Intro to Telecommunications Policy Studies
T504 | 13184 | McGregor, M.

TEL-T504 Introduction to Telecommunications Policy Studies
Course Number 13184
Michael A. McGregor

Course Objectives
This course introduces students to the study of telecommunications
policy.  Although the primary emphasis of the course is on United
States policy, international policy issues will be considered also.
During the course of the semester we will consider what “policy” is,
how it is developed and by whom, and various ways policy scholars do
their work.  We will also look at the development of
telecommunications policy in the United States for all forms of
media, from the telegraph to the Internet.  We will monitor and
discuss current telecommunications policy issues, both domestic and

Several times during the semester telecommunications policy scholars
will present their research to the class.  This will expose you to
policy research from a variety of perspectives and approaches.  It
will also introduce you to other members of the faculty who teach
and do research in the policy area.

The course includes a methodological component.  Legal research will
be taught and used in the course, though legal methods are by no
means the only way to approach policy scholarship.  Other methods
will be discussed throughout the semester.

By the end of the semester, students successfully completing this
course will have a good understanding of the telecommunications
policy making process and the institutions that affect
telecommunications policy in the United States.  Students will also
be familiar with the development of telecommunications policy in the
U.S. and will be prepared for advanced courses in policy study.
Through the completion of a research and writing project, students
will have a basic knowledge of legal research methods plus a final
paper suitable for submission to an appropriate academic conference.

Class format
Most class sessions will feature a combination of lecture and
discussion.  At the end of the semester we will adopt a seminar
format during which students will lead the class and present their

Students will be evaluated based upon performance on a legal
research exercise, a policy research paper, a mid-term examination,
a comprehensive final examination, and class participation.

This class fulfills the following Telecommunications requirements:
Core requirement of Ph.D. students

Required Texts
1.  de Sola Pool (1983). Technologies of Freedom, Belknap Press.

2. Nuechterlein and Weiser (2005).  Digital Crossroads. MIT Press.

3.  Sloan (2, Basic Legal Research: Tools and Strategies, 2000.

4.  Reserve readings.

5.  Communications Headlines service provided by the Benton
Foundation.  Go to, then to the Communication link.
There you will be able to access the daily communications headline