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Posted at 10:58 AM ET, 01/ 6/2011

CES: Feds, lobbyists discuss policy issues at tech industry show

By Cecilia Kang

Lest you think Consumer Electronics Show is just for selling hot gadgets, Washington's policy makers and the lobbyists are here in Las Vegas to translate their debates for the tech industry.

Here are the policy events to watch Thursday and Friday:

  • Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg will kick off the first official day with a Q&A keynote speech with Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association. Seidenberg has been a strong critic of the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, and the company may appeal the measure along with other Internet service providers. We'll be live blogging
  • Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will speak soon after about global innovation. He, CEA's Michael Petricone and TechNet's Ray Ramsey will talk about laws and policies that can help boost jobs growth.
  • In the early afternoon, Post Tech will moderate a panel on net neutrality with FCC chief of staff Eddie Lazarus, AT&T executive vice president Jim Cicconi, Verizon executive vice president Tom Tauke, Google media counsel Rick Whitt and Neil Fried (R) and Roger Sherman (D), staffers for the House Energy and Commerce Committee. David Sohn of the Center for Digital Democracy will provide public interest reaction. We'll see what they like and don't like so much about the FCC rules and what they think is in store going forward.
  • On Friday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will chat with Shapiro on the agency's agenda, including spectrum policy and broadband expansion.
  • Later in the day, Rob Pegoraro of The Washington Post's Faster Forward blog will moderate a panel with the four other FCC commissioners on the agency's plans for addressing more tech-related issues.
  • On Friday night, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will have a fireside chat with Huffington Post's Ariana Huffington. The online video firm has become a threat and pincushion for the media and communications companies because of its rapid growth in subscribers. It's been a proponent of net neutrality rules with strong provisions against allowing cable providers to charge companies like itself for faster service.

By Cecilia Kang  | January 6, 2011; 10:58 AM ET
Categories:  AT&T, Broadband, CES, FCC, Google, Net Neutrality, Spectrum, Verizon  
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Next: CES: Verizon CEO Seidenberg's keynote

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