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Backstage at the Grand Debate in GLOBECOM 2012 [Society News]

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Three years in the making, the Grand Debate was one of the 34 industry sessions and a product of the IEEE Consumer Electronics (CE) Society AdCom. Bob Frankston, a CE Society Fellow and Distinguished Lecturer, was instrumental in discussing the topic of Internet versus telecommunications. He invited one of the originators of TCP/IP (Internet), Vinton Cerf, to be on the debate panel. Subsequently, David Farber from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and a well-known former chief technologist with the American Federal Communications Commission (FCC), was included in the debate to address the outdated frequency spectrum policy. Stephen Dukes agreed to serve as the debate moderator, together with Stagg Newman, another prestigious former FCC technologist. Dukes later found his schedule conflicted with the date of the debate, and Tom Coughlin was asked to fill in as moderator. After many e-mail exchanges, the panelists agreed to focus on a few mind-twisting issues. Last-minute technology hook-ups are never easy, and consequently, the debate time was reduced to 30 min, leaving little time to address the carefully designed questions. Nevertheless, everyone learned a little about the potential conflict between the Internet and telecommunications. Frankston published his position in the "Soapbox" column in the January issue of IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine. The remaining topics are of particular significance to the CE Society and Communications Society as there is now a shifting paradigm caused by the Internet, both in network infrastructure and consumer devices.

Published in:

Consumer Electronics Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 2 )