Friday panels at 2:15 pm


Achieving Meaningful Participation in the Digital Economy: A Canadian Case-Study

Panel Organizer: Farah Faisal

Social networks, entertainment, e-commerce, and e-government are some of the many activities that are greatly enhanced by a digitally connected society.  Despite the enabling and life-improving impacts of online participation, low internet use remains a troublesome trend in communities where broadband is both available and affordable.  Fresh research has uncovered that barriers to online adoption are more complex than previously understood.  What are the hurdles inhibiting participation beyond the cost of access? How can we formulate policy that sparks adoption?  With the aim of widening and deepening the TPRC community’s knowledge of adoption trends, this panel will frame the challenge and ignite a data-driven, candid conversation using Canada as a case-study.  This discussion will explore creative and effective public policy measures that can engage and educate on the benefits of a fuller digital experience.

Ken Whyte, Rogers Communications 


  • Catherine Middleton, Ryerson University 
  • Anabel Quan Haase, University of Western Ontario
  • Mike Colledge, IPSOS Canada 
  • Jenna Jacobson, University of Toronto


Zero-Rating and the Public Policy Debate

Panel Organizer: Anne Hobson, Technology Policy Fellow, R Street Institute

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 plan for implementing net neutrality did not ban zero-rated programs, but it did call for case-by-case evaluation of such programs.  The FCC has since acknowledged that business models including zero-rating may provide benefits to consumers, such as increasing choice and lowering cost for consumers, but they have also urged caution.  This panel will bring together voices from industry and civil society to debate the question of whether zero-rated programs can benefit consumers, the implications for public policy, and how these programs should be viewed by the FCC and other regulators around the world.  Panel members will represent diverse perspectives to foster lively debate on the continuing public policy concerns surrounding zero-rating.

Mike Godwin, Senior Fellow, R Street Institute


  • Kevin Martin, VP, Mobile and Global Access Policy, Facebook  
  • Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, VP and Chief Research and Policy Officer, MMTC
  • Michael Calabrese, Director, Wireless Future Project, New America Foundation
  • William Rinehart, Director of Technology and Innovation Policy, American Action Forum


The TPRC Research Idea Gong Show

Panel Organizer: Jane R. Bambauer, University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

TPRC’s long history includes numerous examples of regulators actively informing our research community about their priority needs for future research, while also organizing efforts to support the research and foster the careers of promising graduate students and junior scholars.  TPRC's programming on Friday, September 30th, will include a novel opportunity to advance both of these valuable conference goals in one energetic session.  Presenters will have three minutes to describe their research idea, followed by a panel of seasoned experts (from the FTC, FCC, NTIA, industry, and academia) and the audience providing insightful and constructive suggestions.  Audience members will also be invited to email or live tweet their reactions and to talk to the presenters in person during the remainder of the conference. We hope this energetic session will foster useful cross-fertilizations and collaborations.

  • Paul Ohm, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, former Senior Policy Advisor to the FTC
  • Maureen Lewis, Director of Minority Telecommunications Development, NTIA
  • Robert Pepper,  Aspen Institute, former Vice President for Global Technology Policy, CISCO, former Chief of Policy Development at the FCC

Saturday panels, 2 pm session

The Interaction Between the International Spectrum Management Regime and National Spectrum Policies

While alternative approaches have been suggested to reform national spectrum management policies, in most of the world, especially in the developing countries, radio spectrum is still managed along the lines of command and control due to different factors.

The panel aims to investigate one potential factor that is largely overlooked in the debate, which is the interaction of national policies with the international spectrum management regime administrated by the Radio Sector of the ITU (ITU-R) and the influence of such interaction on national policy reform towards three alternatives of command and control namely, spectrum market, commons, and easements. The main focus of the panel is on the concepts of radiocommunication service allocation flexibility, technology selection neutrality, and opportunistic access in the TV white spaces (TVWS).

The panel aims to link between revolutionary ideas on spectrum policy that have been discussed in the TPRC in the last years and partially applied in few developed countries, and the legacy regulations recommended by the ITU-R and followed by most of the world. The panel’s outcome would bring added value to the spectrum policy debate with regard to how the international spectrum regulations promote or discourage moving towards more revolutionary approaches in spectrum management such as spectrum markets, commons, and easements.

Mohamed El-Moghazi. An international spectrum management expert who have been participating in the ITU-R meetings for more than 10 years with several publications on the international spectrum management regime.


  •  Apurva N. Mody, IEEE 802.22 and Whitespace Alliance. 
  • Joaquin Restrepo, ITU-R BR
  • José M Costa, Ericsson
  • Peter Pitsch, Intel
  • Michael Marcus, Marcus Spectrum Solutions


Rural Broadband Policies in a Cross-National Comparison

Panel Organizer: Bibi Reisdorf, Michigan State University

Across a number of highly technologized countries, such as the US, the UK, Canada and Australia, we witness ongoing, if not increasing, digital divides between citizens who live in urban areas and those who live in rural and remote areas.  Persistent urban-rural broadband divides appear to be a universal phenomenon that has so far not been addressed successfully by any of the above mentioned countries.  Comparing and contrasting the history and the current state of urban-rural digital broadband divides, as well as the according policies and the issues with these policies across a number of countries, this panel seeks to enable an informative discussion that provides a way forward and formulates policy recommendations that can help address urban-rural divides.  Panel members will span a range of disciplines, including communication, management, social informatics, and sociology.

Sharon Strover, Philip G. Warner Regents Professor in Communication & Director of the Telecommunications and Information Policy Institute, University of Texas at Austin 


  • Sora Park, Associate Professor & Senior Research Fellow in Communication and Media Studies, University of Canberra
  • Anne-Marie Oostveen, Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
  • Catherine Middleton, Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University
  • Bianca C. Reisdorf, Assistant Professor & Assistant Director at the Quello Center, Michigan State University


Digital Inclusion in Urban America

Panel Organizer: Brandon A Brooks, Queens University of Charlotte

The work to revitalize American cities is intertwined with the push for digital cities.  A number of infrastructure and user-oriented initiatives have developed across the U.S. to increase Internet access, Internet adoption, and digital literacy skills supporting digital inclusion. At the same time, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners alike are seeking better ways to measure the impact and outcomes of these digital inclusion initiatives.  Building on the focus of the ICA2016 Blue Sky Workshop, this panel seeks to stimulate discussion on useful ways of measuring positive and negative outcomes of digital inclusion initiatives in urban America.  By combining perspectives from both researchers and practitioners, this panel provides an opportunity for the TPRC community to critically discuss the challenges in measuring outcomes of digital initiatives to support inclusion and the vitality of digital cities.

Dr. Brandon Brooks,  Assistant Professor of Digital Media Studies, James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte


  • Dr. Alexis Carreiro, Assistant Professor, James L. Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte
  • William H. Dutton, Quello Professor of Media and Information Policy in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University
  • Kate Cherry, Detroit City Connect
  • Angela Siefer, National Digital Inclusion Alliance