Migrating To Voice over Internet Protocol
Hatfield, Lookabaugh, Sicker, Savage and Weiser

Project Summary
Voice over Inte...
VoIP technologies. As represented in Figure 1 (in Appendix A), we envision that all of
the above-described efforts will in...
in the field, and producing a report that would address the challenges and opportunities
related to VoIP in a clear and in...
The social policy implications of VoIP present regulators and incumbent businesses
with a true dilemma – i.e., choices bet...
the positive and negative lessons from the wireless telephone service context may well
apply whereas others will not. In a...
Finally, we envision that we can play a valuable role in developing recommendations
about how industry and government can ...
companies, and the foremost academics in the area.10 Moreover, Silicon Flatirons has
established the Journal on Telecommun...
and technology hub. In facilitating enhanced collaboration between the many entities in
Colorado with a stake in VoIP’s de...
this initiative. The VoIP course we will offer fits well with an emerging effort to create a
MAT certificate-ITP Masters o...
the state (and elsewhere). Similarly, we will record the proceedings of the
               relevant conferences and be pre...
In terms of educational impact, we will evaluate the success of our initiative in
terms of whether we execute in three are...
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  1. 1. Migrating To Voice over Internet Protocol Hatfield, Lookabaugh, Sicker, Savage and Weiser Project Summary Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is poised to transform radically the telecommunications industry. In a relatively short period of time, a very high degree of voice telephone calls will be carried over Internet-based protocols – up to 40 percent of all U.S. calls in five years. Because this industry transformation raises difficult technological, economic, social, and policy questions, it is imperative that all stakeholders appreciate the opportunities created by VoIP – which will change radically the nature of voice communications – and work to address traditional social policy goals (such as E-911 access) that are not easily be addressed in this new environment. This proposal brings together six academics (with considerable experience in research, government, and industry) as well as governmental and industry partners in Colorado to develop significant and cutting edge insights and solutions about the development of VoIP. Given that VoIP is now in a formative stage of development, both businesses and governmental agencies are eager for independent, careful research to understand the possibilities created by this emerging market. In terms of solutions to the challenges posed by VoIP, we believe that we can make significant headway on developing technological recommendations to address the policy concerns that are relevant to this context. With respect to the delivery of E-911 services, for example, we envision that we can both use our own technical abilities and serve as a forum for sharing ideas among industry players to help develop and test out recommended approaches for addressing this issue (as well as other social policy concerns). In short, the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program, which is the platform for our research, education, and industry coordination efforts, is uniquely suited to spearhead this initiative. We are already working with most of the major Colorado companies addressing these issues and are connected to a number of research and educational resources that will catalyze and develop student interest in this important topic. Our educational strategy is to develop a set of materials for an exciting interdisciplinary course on VoIP, hold a state of the art conference series, assemble an elite cadre of student fellows, and draft a first-rate report that will be a valued resource to all interested in the issue. These educational opportunities will work hand-in-close with the above-mentioned research initiatives by enabling those studying about VoIP to take part in and learn from cutting edge research efforts. Moreover, these educational opportunities will not only provide a road map for VoIP education in academia and industry, but they will also elevate CU’s masters-level Interdisciplinary Telecom Program and undergraduate-level Multidisciplinary Applied Technology certificate. To facilitate this unique educational program and promising research initiative, we will pull together and consult (1) end users; (2) service providers; (3) hardware and software developers; and (4) governmental agencies seeking focused on important social policy goals. In so doing, we will not only help bolster Colorado’s national reputation as a telecom and IT hub, but will assist in the recovery of the local telecom and IT industries by supporting local companies in their efforts to exploit and lead the effort to migrate to
  2. 2. VoIP technologies. As represented in Figure 1 (in Appendix A), we envision that all of the above-described efforts will interact as part of a positive feedback loop. Project Description Telecommunications’ Next Frontier: Migrating To Voice over Internet Protocol 1 Vision For The Activity The growing use and importance of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is transforming the telecommunications industry. As one respected industry observer put it, VoIP is “the most significant change in telecommunications since Alexander Graham Bell called out for Mr. Watson.”1 This transformation will ultimately impact all sectors of the telecommunications services industry – traditional incumbent local exchange carriers, cable providers, wireless service providers, emergency service providers, etc. – and is only in its very early stages. Similar to the service providers, both hardware and software developers are struggling to understand and take advantage of the opportunities in this area, including prospects for new technologies (such as integrated messaging and mobile collaboration). Moreover, business, governmental and residential consumer users of telecommunications equipment and services are looking for guidance on when and how to upgrade to a new technological frontier. Finally, governmental agencies are struggling to ensure that social policy concerns are addressed in a very different technological environment. The disruptive technology of VoIP promises to upend a century old model of voice telephony by creating a more dynamic marketplace and changing the point of control in from the central office switch to the end user’s device. For all of the relevant stakeholders affected by VoIP (i.e., service providers, hardware and software vendors, customers, and governmental agencies), there is a great need for clear insights and analysis of the issues raised by the transition from the traditional public switched telephone network (PSTN) to a packet-switched, Internet Protocol-based architecture. Moreover, each of these stakeholders is interested in employees trained through an interdisciplinary perspective and who are exposed to industry.2 As the enclosed letters of support suggest, the ability of Colorado companies to understand and capitalize on this opportunity will enable them to flourish as VoIP increasingly defines the industry. The Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program at the University of Colorado is uniquely suited to launch an exciting educational initiative that will work hand-in-glove with industry outreach and cutting edge research. This initiative would provide a valuable and timely educational program both for those in industry and for those in school by developing a cutting-edge course on VoIP, presenting conferences with leaders 1 Kevin Werbach, Testimony to the Senate Commerce Commerce, February 24, 2004, available at http://commerce.senate.gov/hearings/testimony.cfm?id=1065&wit_id=2993; see also In re Matter of IP- Enabled Services, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, para. 1, March 10, 2004 (available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-04-28A1.pdf ) (VoIP “will change, fundamentally, [the marketplace because] consumers will become increasingly empowered to customize the services they use, and will choose these services from an unprecedented range of service providers and platforms.”). 2 See Lyn Berry-Helminger, Tech Survey Spells Out Importance of Newtork Management, Denver Business Journal A49 (April 16-22, 2004) (reporting that ideal job candidates bring a “mix of technical expertise, well-developed ‘soft skills’ and industry experience”). 2
  3. 3. in the field, and producing a report that would address the challenges and opportunities related to VoIP in a clear and insightful fashion. In short, this initiative would weave together the development of (1) valuable insights through careful research; (2) recommendations for addressing cutting edge policy and technological issues; (3) significant collaborative opportunities for the numerous Colorado stakeholders concerned with VoIP’s development; and (4) an educational program for those interested in learning about this cutting edge technology. We shall address each component in turn. 1.a. Insights Envisioned From Proposal Our first line of inquiry would be a careful empirical evaluation of why and, for what purpose, consumers (residential, business, and government) adopt VoIP. This inquiry builds on a related project led by Professors Savage, Lookabaugh, and Sicker with regard to broadband adoption. Among other things, that project identified the relevant drivers of consumer demand for broadband and contributed to the FCC’s thinking about broadband policy.3 Like that project, this inquiry would evaluate current consumer attitudes toward VoIP services, their willingness-to-pay (WTP) for them, and the potential private and social benefits from the wider adoption of VoIP. In short, this investigation will not only aid policymakers and bring national attention to Colorado, but it will enable Colorado firms to address more effectively the challenges of encouraging customers to adopt VoIP. The proposed empirical investigation entails four stages. First, we will undertake a comprehensive literature review that will involve collecting and reviewing all available information on the demand for VoIP (and related technologies). Based on our understanding of this research, we will develop a comprehensive survey to discern consumer attitudes towards VoIP. In developing this survey, we will also consult with the leading Colorado VoIP providers to ascertain what information they are seeking to understand this emerging market. Second, we will conduct a survey of consumers and firms about their current use of information technology and ask them a series of hypothetical choice questions in order to generate stated preference data. Moreover, the survey will take particular care to inquire into what level of protections traditionally associated with voice telephony are most important to consumers (e.g., E-911 services) and what level of knowledge they possess about such offerings. Third, we will complete an econometric analysis using the gathered information to estimate consumer’s WTP for VoIP by key attributes such as price, service reliability, ease of use, etc. In so doing, we will estimate the elasticity of the probability of choosing VoIP – i.e., instead of wireline and wireless telephone services – as well as to what extent traditional services (e.g. E-911 service) are important to consumers. Finally, we will conduct a focus group discussion to explore, in person, the obstacles and impressions that consumers hold about VoIP. 1.b Recommendations Envisioned From Proposal 3 See Savage, S., and Waldman, D. 2003. “What is the Current State of US Internet Demand?”, presented at the FCC Broadband Access Seminar, Washington, D.C., April 17, 2003 (available at http://www.fcc.gov/oet/tac/TAC_III_04_17_03/What_Customers_Want_and_Buy_Today.ppt); Savage, S., and Waldman, D. 2003. “Econometric Models for Choice Data with an Application to the Demand for Internet Access”, work-in-progress, Department of Economics, University of Colorado at Boulder; Madden, G, Savage, S., and Simpson, M. 2002. “Australian Broadband Delivered Entertainment Service Subscription Forecasts”, Economic Record, 79, 422-432. 3
  4. 4. The social policy implications of VoIP present regulators and incumbent businesses with a true dilemma – i.e., choices between mutually exclusive and equally unfavorable options. Under the current PSTN-based voice telephone network, a number of critical policy goals, such as reliable E-911 service, are provided effectively and reliably. The VoIP world, at least as it exists today, does not deliver the same quality E-911 service, leading some state regulators to impose legacy regulation on this service to require it to do just that (along with other requirements).4 The FCC has only begun to develop its regulatory strategy for how to address VoIP, although Chairman Powell has made clear that it will need to differ from the legacy model used in the PSTN context.5 The first set of our recommendations related to the growth of VoIP will involve the development of technological solutions designed to address the barriers to public adoption of the technology and to ensure that longstanding social goals like E-911 are addressed. In particular, there are numerous technical shortcomings and uncertainties that must be resolved before VoIP will mature into a replacement for traditional telephony. We will thus define a set of technology recommendations that explicitly considers the larger economic, policy and technology concerns that are integral to VoIP’s success. This set of recommendations will include 5 major challenges: • Emergency services (i.e., E-911) • Law enforcement needs (e.g., wiretapping) • Interconnection • Access for the disabled community • Universal access The goal of these recommendations will be to provide direction, for both industry and government, on what can be expected of technological solutions development in the near future. To do so effectively, we will conduct some testing of different solutions so as to identify the relevant advantages and disadvantages of particular approaches. Second, we will not only offer recommendations on technological alternatives, but will also address different possible regulatory strategies for implementing those alternatives. In so doing, we will take special care to address the lessons that emerged from the challenges of addressing the above issues during the development of wireless telephone service. In that case, for example, the effort to ensure the development and adoption of E-911 solutions took a long and convoluted path.6 In the VoIP arena, some of 4 Vonage Holding Corp. v. Minnesota PUC, available at http://www.puc.state.mn.us/docs/vonagemem.pdf. 5 Statement of Michael K. Powell on Voice over Internet Protocol, available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-244231A1.pdf. 6 Dale N. Hatfield, “Challenges of Network Design in an Increasingly Deregulated, Competitive Market” Remarks at the IEEE International Symposium (March 27, 2003), available at http://www.im2003.org/presentation%20files/RemarksDH_IM2003.doc; A Report on the Technical and Operational Issues Impacting Wireless Enhanced 911 Services (2002) (http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/retrieve.cgi?native_or_pdf=pdf&id_document=6513296239. ); Dale Hatfield, Architecture As Policy in The Standards Edge: Dynamic Tension (Sherrie Bolin, 4
  5. 5. the positive and negative lessons from the wireless telephone service context may well apply whereas others will not. In all likelihood, the E-911 challenges for VoIP will be much more difficult to address than it was for wireless services because, among other reasons, there are likely to be a greater number of carriers in the VoIP environment and those carriers do not necessarily control the network. Moreover, the many different “flavors” of VoIP – such as VoIP over wi-fi (including through “dual mode” telephones, which can switch to cellular)7 – suggest that a “one size fits all” solution may well not work in this context. Thus, the appropriate regulatory approach to this issue may well resemble the self-regulatory model used by Internet standard setting bodies more than the traditional model of common carriage regulation. In tailoring such a regime, it will be crucial to account for the fact that equipment defined more by its software than hardware presents novel regulatory challenges. In addition to the public’s interest in developing E-911 solutions, there are another set of issues related to law enforcement concerns about the future of wiretaps in a VoIP environment. In the 1990s, Congress enacted the Communications Assistance in Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) to assure that new telecommunications technologies (i.e., call forwarding, caller ID) would not thwart the ability of law enforcement to maintain effective wiretaps. The development of VoIP, however, potentially sidesteps CALEA insofar as VoIP represents a convergence between computing and communications. In the midst of this legal uncertainty, the industry has opted for various approaches to the issue, including some efforts to facilitate the encryption of telephone calls that would defeat any wiretapping efforts.8 In our initial investigation, we will survey industry approaches to the issue and map our possible alternative strategies to address the issue. The participants in this proposal are well positioned to develop regulatory approaches for addressing the difficult policy challenges raised by VoIP. In particular, Professors Phil Weiser, Dale Hatfield, and Doug Sicker all are well versed in the emerging model of Internet governance (where standard setting committees have played a leading role), as well as the traditional regulatory model employed by the FCC. Moreover, not only have Professors Weiser, Sicker, and Hatfield served in senior governmental positions, but each of them have authored important studies related to the Internet, technological change, and regulatory reform.9 ed.) (2004). 7 Corie Lok, One Person, One Phone, Technology Review (March 2004) (available at http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/print_version/innovation10304.asp); Marguerite Reardon, Wi-Fi and VoIP: Is Sum Greater Than Parts, CNET.com (March 1, 2004) (available at http://news.com.com/2102-7352_3-5167782.html). 8 See John Caher, N.Y. Attorney General Sounds Alarm About State’s Wiretap Ability, New York Law Journal (April 14, 2004), available at http://biz.yahoo.com/law/040414/4084d68c311dc346afd658228e8fe890_1.html (with only a few hundred dollars, firms could adopt a telephone system that was impossible to trace or tap). 9 See Philip J. Weiser, “Standard Setting, Internet Governance, and Self-Regulation,” 28 N. Kent. L. J. 822 (2001); Philip J. Weiser, “The Internet, Innovation, and Intellectual Property Policy,” 103 Colum. L. Rev. 534 (2003) (http://www.columbialawreview.org/pdf/Weiser.pdf); Douglas C. Sicker, Delocalization In Telecommunications Networks, Progress on Point (2004) (http://www.pff.org/publications/ 5
  6. 6. Finally, we envision that we can play a valuable role in developing recommendations about how industry and government can facilitate the adoption of this new technology. On an initial level, we will identify emerging trends and the likely nature of the overall industry structure. In particular, we will investigate the extent to which the development of VoIP-related technologies will create a modular environment (built on open standards, such as the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)) where firms will employ solutions from different vendors to meet their telecommunications services needs. On a more concrete level, we will assist both those businesses contemplating migrating to this new technology, and those firms seeking to encourage this migration, by evaluating the anticipated benefits and challenges associated with VoIP. Among other things, we will investigate the actual and likely emergence of applications that are uniquely available because of VoIP, such as communication productivity services (like mobility solutions, unified messaging systems or mailing out voicemail messages as audio file attachments) and enhanced customer service applications (integration of presence awareness, agent telework, or voice integration into back-office business process flows). Similarly, we will investigate how VoIP will work in conjunction with related technologies, such as wi-fi, in facilitating new innovations. In so doing, we will use our existing laboratory as well as field research to identify ways in which VoIP – as a consequence of its reliance on open standards – can facilitate innovative offerings. 1.c Collaborative Engagement Envisioned From Proposal The University of Colorado at Boulder enjoys a privileged position in the world of telecommunications technology and policy and is thus uniquely suited to sponsor a research and educational initiative on VoIP. As an initial matter, the six academics involved in this proposal bring a rare blend of academic, industrial, and governmental credibility to this project. This credibility reflects not only their individual accomplishments in these areas (and all of the participants have distinguished themselves in more than one area), but also helps to explain the success of the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program. Since its founding, all of those affiliated with this proposal have attended numerous of the Program’s conferences and lunchtime seminars, and have collaborated with one another on affiliated research projects. In short, the University of Colorado-Boulder in general and the Silicon Flatirons Program in particular are well prepared to undertake an ambitious research agenda in VoIP that will facilitate collaboration across academic disciplines and with industry and government. Since its founding, Silicon Flatirons has established itself as a nationally known center for promoting creative thinking on issues at the intersection of telecommunications technology, business, and policy. To date, the Program has hosted major policy addresses by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Powell, FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, CEOs from a number of Colorado’s major telecommunications communications/pop11.2delocalization.pdf); Douglas C. Sicker & Joshua Mindel, “Refinements on a Layered Policy model for Telecommunications Policy”, 1 J. Telecom. & High Tech. Law 69 (2002); Dale N. Hatfield, “The Current Status of Spectrum Management,” in Balancing Policy Options in a Turbulent Telecommunications Market, A Report to the Seventeenth Annual Aspen Institute Conference on Telecommunications Policy (2003). 6
  7. 7. companies, and the foremost academics in the area.10 Moreover, Silicon Flatirons has established the Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law, which has helped to elevate telecommunications policy debates.11 Consequently, Boulder is increasingly known as “a hotbed for telecom policy” and a place for “creative discussions” among leaders in government, academia, and industry.12 Assuming that this project is funded, we will host a conference next winter focused on how VoIP will transform the telecommunications industry and would publish its proceedings in the Journal. Indeed, FCC Chairman Powell has already agreed to come to such a conference. Silicon Flatirons is not only positioned to facilitate a collaborative dialogue between industry, academia, and government that will advance understanding in this area, but also to help research and prototype important solutions. In so doing, we believe that we will be meeting the need for an important collaborative model in Colorado’s Convergence Corridor that has yet to be filled. In an important report a couple of years ago, a Colorado Institute of Technology-backed Telecommunications study highlighted that such a forum could facilitate the type of inter-industry and company exchange of ideas that is de rigeur in Silicon Valley and has yet to take root in Colorado.13 Indeed, this report singled out the Silicon Flatirons Program in particular as an organization that had made important strides in this direction, explaining that: We recommend the creation of a Telecommunications Industry council to support active and sustained communications and partnerships, to develop common policy objectives, and to help attract new business and investment to the state. …..Resources such as the Silicon Flatirons Telecommunications Program have national visibility and bring prominent telecommunications experts to Colorado for seminars and events.14 As VoIP’s important status as a new technology at the intersection of computing and communications suggests – and as the letters in support of this proposal demonstrate – this initiative is a perfect vehicle to launch Silicon Flatiron’s effort to serve as a forum for bringing together business persons, technologists, and governmental officials to address the cutting edge issues in the information industries. Moreover, because these collaborative efforts are almost assured of national notice (due to the profile of the Silicon Flatirons Program), they are also likely to boost Colorado’s stature as a telecom 10 See, e.g., Jonathan S. Adelstein, Silicon Flatirons Seminar, Boulder, CO, April 9, 2003. http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-234658A1.pdf; Michael K. Powell, “Digital Broadband Migration Part II,” Press Conference, Boulder, CO, October 23, 2001. http://www.fcc.gov/Speeches/Powell/2001/spmkp109.html 11 Richard S. Whitt, “A Horizontal Leap Forward” MCI White Paper, (December 2003) http://global.mci.com/about/publicpolicy/presentations/horizontallayerswhitepaper.pdf (discussing VoIP and citing heavily Silicon Flatirons conference proceedings). 12 Sue Marek, “Professor Draws Regulators To Boulder,” Wireless Week (July 15, 2003) http://www.wirelessweek.com/article/CA310934?ticker=Q&type=stockwatch. 13 See also ANNALEE SAXENIAN, REGIONAL ADVANTAGE: CULTURE AND COMPETITION IN SILICON VALLEY AND ROUTE 128 (1994). 14 Colorado Institute of Technology Global Telecommunications Planning Study Final Report, September 30th, 2002. 7
  8. 8. and technology hub. In facilitating enhanced collaboration between the many entities in Colorado with a stake in VoIP’s development, this proposal will also aim to fortify the University of Colorado’s already strong role in telecommunications and technology education and research, including the Silicon Flatirons Program, the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program, and the ATLAS Institute. 1.d Educational Benefits from the Proposal This project will also produce important educational benefits by exposing a large number of students and workers to the issues raised by VoIP. Most notably, the University of Colorado at Boulder is a logical place to start such an educational initiative because of the strong tradition it has in providing an interdisciplinary approach to telecommunications. In particular, CU-Boulder founded the first ever masters program in telecommunications over thirty years ago, for which our first Director and Founder (Frank Barnes) was recognized by the prestigious Gordon Prize awarded by the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of innovation in engineering education and by the first-ever CIT Catalyst Award. At present, the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program (ITP) teaches over 200 students and enjoys a very strong faculty who are also affiliated with allied fields. Consequently, there is a ready population of students who will be eager to embrace a cutting edge interdisciplinary learning opportunity. Moreover, because of its effective use of distance learning technology, most ITP classes are available to those in industry. In particular, with the past aid of CIT, ITP developed a remote laboratory infrastructure that it would use to implement this proposal. The centerpiece of the on campus learning opportunities will be the creation of an elite group of students – the “Hatfield Fellows,” named in honor of Dale Hatfield (the former chair and longtime adjunct professor with the Program) – who will be fully engaged in the initiative. These Fellows will serve as research assistants on this project, attend all lunchtime seminars with local collaborators, and take a new flagship course on VoIP and converged communications—making them valuable assets for any telecommunications provider and preparing them to contribute to the VoIP revolution. Moreover, by both participating in the project more generally and taking the VoIP course in particular, these Fellows will actually help shape this course, which will be one of the (if not the) first of its kind. See Appendix D. The development of a new VoIP and converged communications course will be an important achievement in re-orienting the study of telecommunications around a fundamentally different technical architecture. Because of VoIP’s significance, we envision that numerous industry professionals and educational institutions around the state (and elsewhere) will be interested in taking this course. Moreover, this course will build on ITP’s experience in developing interdisciplinary courses that are accessible to students of all backgrounds. Similarly, ITP will utilize its well developed distance learning infrastructure (provided by CAETE) to deliver both the course and the proceedings of the relevant conferences to interested audiences in Colorado and elsewhere. Moreover, we envision developing a “mini-course” that we would offer, along with the findings from our Report, to different interested groups around the state. Finally, we will work with the ATLAS Institute and its Multidisciplinary Applied Technology (MAT) certificate program as our vehicle to recruit undergraduate students in 8
  9. 9. this initiative. The VoIP course we will offer fits well with an emerging effort to create a MAT certificate-ITP Masters of Science joint degree (to be completed in five years). By stepping up the opportunities for more industrial engagement, and greater exposure to possible employers, this initiative would drive demand for MAT as well as spur MAT students to complete the joint decree. Moreover, we would work with ATLAS to encourage both MAT and TAM (Technology, Arts and Media) students to attend the relevant conferences, giving them extra-credit for such efforts and thereby exposing them to the leaders in the field and the cutting edge issues in the telecommunications industry. 2 Work Plan/Timeline The proposal envisions a three-year effort. In addition to seeking $300,000 for year one from the Colorado Institute of Technology, we are applying to the National Science Foundation’s Partnership for Innovation, other NSF programs, and NTIA’s matching grant program to cover years two and three of our efforts. Moreover, we are confident that once we get this project rolling, we will be able to attract substantial industry support to continue it. Consequently, we have outlined below our three-year program. 2.1 Year 1 efforts (a) The first year will lay the groundwork for VoIP-related research here and elsewhere. In particular, we would hold two major conferences, one in October and another in February, where we would develop and test out ideas about the challenges and opportunities raised by VoIP. The first conference would focus on our own researchers and local industry and governmental partners whereas the second conference would include numerous national leaders in government, industry, and academia. (b) At the end of the first year, we will produce a report that will detail our findings about the opportunities and challenges raised by VoIP. Notably, this report would address: an econometric evaluation of the actual adoption patterns; the likely market structure and opportunities for innovation; the emerging applications that will drive adoption of VoIP technologies; the technological possibilities for addressing social policy concerns in a VoIP environment; the regulatory tools that could effectively ensure these concerns are addressed; a set of best practices for facilitating partnerships between industry, academia, and government; and recommendations about how to teach students about VoIP. We would circulate this report far and wide, along with the conference proceedings of the February conference. Finally, we will present the work to audiences around the state (i.e., using a “mini-course”). (c) The first year of this project will also produce important educational benefits. As an initial matter, we will develop a cadre of students – the “Hatfield fellows” – who will be fully engaged in the technological, economic, and policy issues related to VoIP. These fellows will serve as research assistants as part of this project, attend all lunchtime seminars with local collaborators, and take a course on VoIP, thereby preparing themselves to continue working But more broadly, the VoIP course that we will develop is one that will be easily portable – using distance learning technology – to other environments around 9
  10. 10. the state (and elsewhere). Similarly, we will record the proceedings of the relevant conferences and be prepared to make those events available to any educational audience in Colorado and elsewhere. 2.2 Year 2 and 3 efforts (a) After identifying the most promising technological solutions for implementing some of the social policy goals related to the transition to VoIP, we would develop and administer a more comprehensive testing program. (b) Related to our testing for technological innovations related to social policy goals, we will test and evaluate emerging VoIP applications, assessing their feasibility, ease of adoption, and whether they raise new social policy questions (e.g., intruding on privacy). (c) To best understand and evaluate the pace and nature of the adoption of VoIP- related technologies, we will undertake a number of case studies of VoIP adoption as well as re-evaluate consumer attitudes towards VoIP. (d) We will not only evaluate the ability of the technological solutions to address social policy goals, but also determine if the regulatory means for ensuring their use are working, including any novel approaches such as self-regulatory or consumer education initiatives. 3 Impact of the Proposal/Expected Outcomes The questions related to the broad adoption of VoIP are just beginning to be asked – let alone answered. In Colorado, we have a critical mass of companies and academics who are well poised to develop new insights in this area, a collaborative spirit of engagement that will facilitate innovative breakthroughs in this area, and a pool of well trained students (and professionals) who are eager to learn more about and to participate in this exciting industry transformation. This proposal would thus launch a nationally important center for addressing these issues and enable Colorado companies to benefit from a forum and valuable academic resource. In short, we envision that, at the end of this three year project, we will have influenced the national debate and understanding about the VoIP transformation, further cemented Colorado’s reputation as a telecom and IT hub, supported the efforts of Colorado firms to take advantage of this transformation, and prepared students (as well as professionals) to make an impact in this field. 4. Evaluation Plan To evaluate the success of our efforts, we will investigate the extent of our impact in three discrete areas: educational impact; development of research insights and recommendations; and building a valuable forum for collaboration and the exchange of ideas. To oversee our effectiveness in each of these areas, we will report to CIT every six months (and more frequently, if requested). Moreover, we intend to use a four-step process of feedback from involved parties, self-evaluation (by the respective project leaders), peer evaluation (by the others in the project), and an independent evaluation by an Advisory Committee that will guide our efforts and evaluate our success. 10
  11. 11. In terms of educational impact, we will evaluate the success of our initiative in terms of whether we execute in three areas. First, we will evaluate the new class on VoIP, which will involve all project participants and will be made broadly available via our distance learning technology. To do so, we will utilize the four-step model outlined above in order to develop a component of our Final Report on how to teach an interdisciplinary course on VoIP successfully. Second, with respect to the “Hatfield Fellows,” we will evaluate our ability to build an elite program to spur student interest in a cutting edge field and to enable them to find work in the area. Finally, as to the conferences, we will use the four-step process to evaluate our success in spurring insightful dialogues and reaching a broad audience. In terms of our research efforts, the critical question will be whether we develop a thoughtful and comprehensive report and disseminate our results widely. This effort will go hand-in-hand with building an effective collaborative community, as we will be relying on our industry and governmental partners for valuable insights and feedback. Our research efforts and collaborative engagement will thus feed off one another, sparking more connections and inviting further research and investigatory efforts. Ultimately, our success in this area will be judged by the ability to establish and develop important institutional connections and attract further funding to continue our work in this area. In addition to the outcome of attracting further support for our research efforts, we will also use the four-step evaluative method to test our effectiveness in developing new insights and recommendations. To evaluate our success in building a forum for collaboration on a cutting edge issue, we will document the benefits from this interchange of ideas, the quality and quantity of networking between different leaders in the area, and the extent of the collaboration between different stakeholders. To do so, we will survey all relevant stakeholders and work with the involved researchers to develop a set of best practices for industry-academic collaboration, which we will also include in our Final Report. Finally, our evaluative program will focus on the following metrics: 1. How many students and industry professionals benefitted from the VoIP course both in year one (and in future ones) and what level of interest did the effort inspire in them? 2. How many students and industry professionals attended the various conferences, lunchtime seminars, and presentations around the state. 3. What level of notice and demand emerged for the project’s final report and the proceedings of its penultimate conference? 4. How many different Colorado firms participated in this initiative and built collaborative engagements with other firms and with CU? 5. What continuing research and investigatory efforts followed from this initial grant? 11