Telecommunications | Telecommunications Policy-Making
T629 | 26548 | Cherry, B


Barbara Cherry
Dept. of Telecommunications

I have designated seminar courses S/T453 and T540 as second and
third choices for the Fall 2009, respectively, and both as third
choices for the Spring 2010 semester.  For either semester I propose
a seminar course, the content and scope of which can be accommodated
to Honors undergraduate or graduate students, as follows.

T629 Spring 2010
The focus of this seminar course is based on the premise that recent
experience under deregulatory policies reveals an acute challenge
for institutional governance. More specifically, government must
develop greater regulatory resilience  that is, create regulatory
structures and policies that are more adaptive to the complexity and
increasing pace of technological innovation and ensuing economic and
social changes  yet such regulatory resilience must also be
constrained by sustainability of the rule of law.  The electricity
crisis in California and the recent subprime mortgage crisis in the
U.S. are illustrative of the unpredictability and rapidity with
which market instabilities can appear and cascade to potentially
catastrophic levels, and for which the difficulties of institutional
governance are already apparent.  Recent deregulatory
telecommunications policies, particularly related to broadband and
the internet, may be creating conditions for similar future
instabilities.

This seminar also explores the proposition that the problems
revealed under deregulatory policies are symptomatic of a deeper,
more fundamental set of sustainability problems arising from an
historical process of accelerated technological and social change
referred to as the social acceleration of time (William E.
Scheuerman, LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AND THE SOCIAL ACCELERATION OF TIME
(2004)).  The social acceleration of time, for which new means of
high-speed communication and deregulatory telecommunications
policies are contributing factors, may be undermining the
sustainability of the rule of law itself.  For this reason,
telecommunications policy research must be conducted to address the
challenge of institutional governance in this broader context.