Executives from competitive telcos can play a key role in Washington, D.C., advocacy, says Andy Lipman, a partner with Bingham McCutchen LLP, who will speak today on this topic during the session “Strategic Initiatives on the Horizon for the CEO,” being held at 3:30 p.m. in Tennessee A.
Weve seen how successful that can be in the past, said Lipman, adding that executives can offer their firsthand experience to the FCC and Congress.
Oftentimes, they can rebut arguments that are being made by the Bells and provide a truth squad to rebut erroneous or misleading information,” added Lipman. “Weve seen how effective that was, particularly in the last year in connection with the Verizon forbearance proceeding both at the FCC and before Congress. And there are a number of major initiatives both before Congress and the FCC impacting competitive carriers over the coming year, and were going to discuss those and where we see them heading and the best advocacy positions for senior executives and their financial sponsors, such as private equity firms and venture capital firms, to make in terms of influencing the Washington policy debate.
Regulators also are interested in input from venture capitalists and private equity firms given Washington policymakers want to build capital and encourage investment, Lipman continued.
Among the key issues the competitive telecom sector will want to weigh in on this year are additional forbearance involving Qwest Communications International Inc. and other Bell companies; implementation of BellSouth, AT&T Inc. consent decree; special access pricing; issues pertaining to interconnection; issues pertaining to broadband; and the ability of the Bell companies to retire copper wire facilities, added Lipman, who has been involved in nearly every new legal and regulatory policy at the FCC, at state public service commissions, in Congress and before courts to open the U.S. local telephone market to competition.
Lipman represents clients in both the private and public sectors, including those in the areas of local, long-distance and international telephone common carriage; Internet services and technologies; conventional and emerging wireless services; satellite services; broadcasting; competitive video services; telecommunications equipment manufacturing; and other high-technology applications.
And, for nearly a decade, while maintaining his partnership at the firm, he also served as senior vice president of legal and regulatory affairs for MFS Communications, of which Lipman was a founder.