Open Internet Program

A Steptoe-sponsored event
February 7, 2017
Menlo Park, CA

Net Neutrality: Experience It As You've Never Done Before, And As You May Never Get To Do Again

Please save the afternoon of February 7 to join hosts Pantelis Michalopoulos and Markham Erickson of Steptoe for an Open Internet extravaganza, including two panels of experts who are certain to provide creative and informative discord on the Open Internet hot button issues of our day, including the existential one: What is the Open Internet rules’ life expectancy under the new Administration?


Tuesday, February 7, 2017


3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. | Panel Discussions
Cocktail Reception to follow


Stanford Park Hotel
100 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Featured Panelists include:

  • Ryan Clough, General Counsel, Public Knowledge
  • Markham Erickson, Partner, Steptoe
  • Ernesto Falcon, Legislative Counsel, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Lloyd Kaufman, President and Co-Founder, Troma Entertainment, Inc.
  • Pantelis Michalopoulos, Partner, Steptoe 
  • Gigi Sohn, Open Society Foundations Leadership in Government Fellow
  • Berin Szoka, President, Tech Freedom

Tentative Agenda:

Panel I: Is The Open Internet An Endangered Species, In The US And In The World?

Will President Trump warm to rules that prevent powerful gatekeepers from discriminating against scrappy online entrepreneurs?  Will he continue the “trust-busting” legacy of Teddy Roosevelt in line with his iconoclastic promises and his concern about “too much concentration in the hands of too few?"  Or will the recent Republican orthodoxy of deregulation prevail?  If the rules do get the death sentence, who will be on the firing squad?  How would the end of the rules affect net neutrality for the rest of the world?

Panel II: Is The Open Internet Worth Preserving? Would Its Death Be Worth Mourning?

"The rich have got their channels in the bedrooms of the poor."  Is the late Leonard Cohen no longer right? How will the rules live up to their above-the-title billing?  Will they preserve an innovation-without-permission ecosystem?  What other actions may be taken to incentivize investment in broadband infrastructure and innovation on the edge?  What about zero-rating plans for music and video streaming?  How does the FCC tell the bad from the good ones?  What oversight is appropriate for interconnection between ISPs and the edge of the Internet?  What about use of ISP customer data?  Can net neutrality be salvaged by enlightened enforcement, which allows zero rating arrangements, subject to certain exceptions such as cases of affiliation between gate keeper and “edge” provider?

CLE credit is pending in AZ, CA, NY, and VA.