BBIC (Broadband Institute of California)

BroadBand Report

Download the “Broadband for All? A Consensus Conference on Municipal Broadband” report.

About the BBIC:

The BBIC is a public policy institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law specializing in applied research and education in the areas of law, technology and public policy. Through its research, publications and conferences, the BBIC seeks to identify, document, address and publicize the broadband and advanced network technology needs of California and the impact of state and federal policies on California’s needs.

Why the BBIC was Established:

California is in the midst of a critical transformation, driven by the expanding diversity of its population; the explosive growth of its high-tech sector; and the convergence of technology and competition in its telecommunications marketplace. These developments have placed California at the forefront of a social, political and technical evolutionary process that is sweeping the nation.

The developments are manifest in virtually every telecommunications issue before state and federal legislatures, commissions, and courts (e.g., network deployment, long distance market competition, regulation of IP enabled networks, defining and financing universal service, bridging the digital divide, and equitable network access).

Popular and policy discussions of these issues aren’t doing enough to recognize the growing importance of broadband networked communications to all aspects of Californians’ lives. Increasingly, Californians are conducting their political, financial, educational, employment and medical affairs via the network and the Internet. The inevitable statewide demand for high-speed broadband availability necessitates a far more concerted, critical, and sustained inquiry into the impact of economic, market, and policy choices regarding broadband networks.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of California’s citizen consumers are not well informed about the technologies that they increasingly rely upon, or the markets and laws that govern these technologies. The rapidity and complexity of technical, market and policy developments, the language used to describe and discuss them, and the remoteness of the fora in which market and regulatory policy is made, too often leave the citizen little understanding and little access.

The BBIC was established to help bridge the gap between the public and the state and federal policies governing their access to advanced network technologies.

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About the Director

allen hammondAllen S. Hammond, IV, is Professor of Law at the Santa Clara University School of Law, Director of the Broadband Institute of California and Director of the Law and Public Policy Program at the Center for Science Technology and Society at Santa Clara University.  He is a graduate of Grinnell College (B.A., 1972), the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (J.D., 1975), and the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania (M.A., 1977).

His prior positions include: Attorney at the White House Office of Telecommunications Policy and Program Manager at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (1977-79); General Counsel for WJLA-TV (1979-82); Consultant and Lecturer at Howard University (1982-83); Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law (1983-85); Senior Attorney at the Media Access Project (1983-85); Senior Attorney at MCI Communications Corporation/Satellite Business Systems (1985-87); Associate General Counsel at MCI Communications Corporation (1988-89); and Director of New York Law School’s Communications Media Center, and Professor of Law at New York Law School (1989-1997) where he became the first African American tenured at the school.

Professor Hammond maintains a strong scholarly interest in issues concerning access to mass media technology and information. Some of his articles in this area include: Reflections on the Myth of Icarus in the Age of Information, 19 Santa Clara Computer and High Tech. L.J. 407 (2003); The FCC’s Third Report on Broadband Deployment: Inequitable, Untimely and Unreasonable, 24 Hastings Comm/Ent. L.J. 539 (2002); The Digital Divide in the New Millennium, 20 Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J. 135 (2002); Standing at the Edge of the Digital Divide, in The State of Black America (National Urban League 1998); “The Telecommunications Act of 1996: Codifying the Digital Divide, 50 Fed. Comm. L.J. 179 (December 1997); “Universal Access to Infrastructure and Information,” 45 De Paul Law Review, 1067 (1996); “Regulating the Multi-Media Chimera: Electronic Speech Rights in the Era of Media Convergence,” 21 Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal 1, (1995); “Private Networks, Public Speech: Constitutional Speech Dimensions of Access to Private Networks,” 55 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 1085, (Summer 1994); and “Regulating Broadband Communications Networks,” 9 Yale Journal on Regulation 181 (1992).

Professor Hammond is the immediate past president of the Alliance for Public Technology, and a member of the SBC Telecommunications Advisory Panel. In addition, Professor Hammond has advised community based organizations throughout California including the California NAACP, the California Community Technology Policy Group, the California Small Business Association and the Great Valley Center.  Professor Hammond has also addressed and/or worked with the Community Technology Foundation of California, the Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility, One Hundred Black Men (Albany, New York), the National Urban League, and the national NAACP on methods for creating sustainable telecommunications infrastructure in communities.

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Since its creation in April of 2001, the BBIC has sponsored or participated in numerous conferences and seminars.

In April of 2001, the BBIC held its first conference entitled: “The Broadband Demography of California.” U.S. Congressman Mike Honda and CPUC Commissioner Brown served as keynote speakers. The conference was sponsored by SBC and the Center for Science, Technology and Society at Santa Clara University.

The BBIC joint ventured with the Great Valley Center’s Communications Leadership and Information Center [CLIC], forming the Digital Community Collaborative to explore the broadband needs of California’s Central Valley. As a collaborative partner, the BBIC made presentations regarding the relationship between rural California’s telecommunications and broadband needs and FCC policy to attendees at Great Valley’s annual convention as well as fellow members of the CLIC Broadband Task Force.

In 2003, the BBIC again joint ventured with the Great Valley Organization in a Workforce Investment Act project the examined significant regulatory, legal and legislative policies related to communications, job creation, and workforce development in central California. As part of that project, the BBIC made presentations in Bakersfield, Modesto, Hanford and Turlock, California regarding California’s rural telecommunications needs and state and federal public policies.

In 2004, the BBIC joint ventured with the California Community Telecommunications Policy Group to present a one day conference entitled: “Broadband in California”.

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What States Are Doing to Promote Rural Broadband, RuralTeleCon 04, Spokane, Washington, October 11, 2004.

Great Valley Rural Telecom Summit: Rural High Speed Access…Obstacles and Opportunities, Sacramento, Ca., August 25, 2004.

Voice over IP, Universal Service and Next-Generation Broadband, at the Summit on Voice over IP, Universal Service and Next-Generation Broadband, Sacramento, Ca., June 14, 2004.

Convergence and the IP Information Nexus: Controversy & Context, Conference on Convergent Telecommunications Technologies and Impacts on Regulatory and Public Policy, California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, April 29-30, 2004.

The Impact of Federal and State Broadband and VOIP Proceedings on California’s Community Based Organizations, Presentation to the Board of the Community Technology Foundation of California, April 13, 2004.

Technology Policy in California, Conference on the Current Status and Future of Technology Policy in California Community Technology Foundation of California, March 15, 2004.

State and Federal Broadband Inquiries, Broadband in California Conference, sponsored by the Broadband Institute of California and the California Community Technology Policy Group, February 27, 2004.

Tapping into the Broadband Future: Encouraging Economic Growth Through Public Policy, Before the Silicon Valley Manufacturer’s Group, November 19, 2003.

The Future of the Telecommunications Technologies, Roundtable Conference on Telecommunications & Advanced Technologies, California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy,  November 3-4, 2003.

Defining Rural in Public Telecommunications Policy, Turlock, CA., September 18, 2003.

Defining Rural in Public Telecommunications Policy, Hanford, CA, September 17, 2003.

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A New, New Regulatory Framework in California, January 2005

Rural California and UNE-P, APT News Newsletter, January 2004

Rural California and UNE-P, in Increasing Access to Telecom and Broadband Networks in California: Consumer Perspectives on Telecommunications Regulation, October 2003

Reflections on the Myth of Icarus in the Age of Information, 19 Santa Clara Comp. & High Tech L. J. 407 (2003);

The Digital Divide in the New Millennium, 20 Cardozo Arts & Ent LJ 135 (2002)

The FCC’s Third Report on Broadband Deployment, 24 Hastings Comm. & Ent. L. J. 539 (2002);

Book Chapters

Defining Rural in Public Telecommunications Policy, in Public Policy Roadmap for Improving Broadband Access, December, 2003,

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IP Networks and the Public Interest

This article, which is based on presentations made before several organizations including the Community Technology Foundation of California, the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, members of the California Public Utilities Commission, and the California Community Technology Policy Group. The article examines the origins and advisability of the FCC’s current decision to regulate IP-based Networks and services as “information services” thereby eschewing regulation under Titles II (telecommunications) and VI (cable television) of the Communications Act of 1934 as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Rural Telecommunications: What is Rural?

This article is based on research begun over the summer of 2003 in conjunction with the Great Valley Center regarding the failure of the federal government to properly and fairly define “rural” to include the vast majority of rural counties in California and other states. The definition has a profound impact on the deployment, availability and affordibility of advanced networks and services in rural California and elsewhere. Federal and state statutes and regulatory policies will be addressed and analyzed. Practical changes in existing policies will be proposed.

The Continuing Nexus between Ownership and Broadcast Diversity

This article will continue the work begun in the broadcast diversity study conducted under contract with the FCC with funding from the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council during the last years of the Clinton Administration. The study’s findings will be applied to recent Supreme Court and Circuit Court of Appeals decisions addressing the relationship between broadcast ownership policies and equal employment opportunity and diversity of viewpoint.

Universal Service: Competition Is Not Enough

This article begins with the premise that federal and state universal service policies are in imminent danger of demise. The method by which they have been funded is being undermined by wireless competition with wireline services and the adoption of VoIP. But it is the federal government’s current “pro-competition” polices as well as many state policies that are causing the bulk of the damage. Part of the problem has been the practice of stimulating competition for wireline voice services by exempting wireless, cable and VoIP services from universal service fees. This practice has been partially responsible for the rapid growth of wireless and broadband as well as the recent investment in VoIP. However, it has also resulted in an erosion of the subscriber base of traditional incumbent wireline providers who pay the fees from which universal service funds are derived. And, there has not as yet been a concomitant successful effort to revise the universal service programs to address the shortfall.

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