Thanks to Jeff Hoel for providing the transcript for Episode 89 of the Community Broadband Bits podcast with Earl Comstock on the history of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Listen to this episode here.
Earl Comstock: The fundamental goal was to modernize the Communications Act, to recognize the fact that we were now entering an era where video, voice, and data were all going to be able to run over the same network.
Lisa Gonzalez: Hello. You are listening to the Community Broadband Bits Podcast, from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. I'm Lisa Gonzalez.
Recently, the DC Circuit Court interpreted Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Section 706 is one small piece of a complex and voluminous piece of legislation. Earl Comstock, Principal at Comstock Consulting speaks with Chris this week. He's a former congressional staff member who helped craft the bill and move it through the legislative process. In addition to participating in the development of the act, Earl has had a chance to see how it has been interpreted by past administrations, the FCC, and the courts. Here are Chris and Earl.
Chris Mitchell: Welcome to another edition of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. Today, I'm speaking with Earl Comstock, the Principal at Comstock Consulting. Welcome to the show, Earl.
Earl Comstock: Nice to be here, Chris.
Chris: So, Earl, I want to get into some of your expertise, and we're going to be talking about the 1996 Telecommunications Act. But first, I want you to explain to our audience why they should think that you know anything about the Act. And I'll introduce you by way of saying that you and first met at a Freedom to Connect event, near Washington, where I sort of thought of you as being more of a cowboy. So, what experience do you have with the '96 Act?
Earl: Well, actually, I was one of the principal staff that worked on the '96 Act. I worked on the Senate side, both for Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska and also as a special counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee, which was the principal Senate committee involved in the...Read more