Faculty members edit book about broadband policy

Two Penn State faculty members serve as co-editors of a recently published book that explores information technology and its impact more deeply than simply counting people with high-speed access to the Internet.

“Important policy decisions are being made worldwide about information services to promote innovation, knowledge development, social equity and democratic values; however, while there is broad international consensus that these decisions are improved if they are informed by empirical data, there is no accepted doctrine as to what data really matters,” claimed Richard Taylor and Amit Schejter, co-directors of the Institute for Information Policy (IIP), housed in the College of Communications at Penn State, in the newly published book.

“Beyond Broadband Access” (2013, Fordham University Press) brings together a stellar array of media policy scholars from a wide range of disciplines -- computer sciences, communications studies, economics, information science, law and policy studies. In the 288-page book, they address how economic and social metrics can shape broadband policies, help evaluate their outcomes and craft useful models for achieving national goals. In addition to serving as co-editors of this book, Taylor and Schejter also serve as co-editors of IIP’s respected Journal of Information Policy.

The timely book provides international perspectives on theoretical approaches to data-based communications and its implications for policy-making in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Taylor holds the James and Barbara Palmer Chair in Telecommunications Studies and Law and serves as an affiliate professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology. He joined the Penn State faculty in 1989 and has directed research projects and published regularly on the implications of investment in information technology on economic development, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Taylor was a member of President Obama’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Advisory Group and he is president and chair of the board of governors of the Pacific Telecommunications Council. His projects have received funding from Verizon, IBM, Google, AT&T, Microsoft, T-Mobile, the Social Science Research Council and The Ford Foundation, among others.

Taylor teaches courses on electronic commerce, post-print publishing, gaming and interactive media, emerging information technologies and international trade in telecommunications. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State, he was vice president and corporate counsel for Warner Cable Communications and was an outside member of the board of PrimeStar Partners Ltd., a satellite television broadcasting company.

Schejter’s research, teaching and service integrate a comprehensive approach to communication policy and its application to the everyday challenges created by the unequal distribution of resources and the silencing of the public’s voice. His studies -- which critique the radio, television, cable, Internet, mobile phones, and digitization policies in Israel, the United States, Korea, the European Union, and across wide international comparative settings  -- have been widely published in communications and law journals and in edited books, and have been cited in congressional and Knesset hearings.

Schejter teaches courses on telecommunications regulation, media law, the media and information industries, comparative media systems and media activism and dedicates much of his time to promote and sustain a dialog between academia and the media advocacy community. He has been invited to present his work across the globe and his research has been supported, among others, by the Ford Foundation, the Media Democracy Fund and the Social Science Research Council.

Prior to joining Penn State, he held senior executive positions in the media and telecommunications industry in Israel, served on and chaired a variety of public committees, and counseled media and telecommunication entities in Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Last Updated July 02, 2013