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FCBA Bar Is Open

Communications Attorney Laura Phillips of
Washington, D.C., firm Drinker Biddle took
over this month as president of the Federal
Communications Bar Association. She
spoke with Washington bureau chief John
Eggerton about her group’s priorities.

MCN: What does FCBA do?

Laura Philips: The Federal Communications Bar Association
is a professional organization, not just for
communications attorneys in companies and firms
and in the federal government. It also includes engineers,
economists. Anyone interested in the development
and the life of communications policy writ large.
We have over 2,000 members.

MCN: What are your priorities?

LP: On one level, I want to keep the trains running and
make sure everything is delivered in the way everyone
expects it to be. Good programming, great networking,
great social opportunities, giving back to the community
through the scholarship program. But I also want to keep
thinking about how we can make ourselves relevant to
the high-tech folks in Northern Virginia. Expand our
membership base in new and different ways. It is critical
to make the organization relevant to new audiences.

MCN: Any thoughts on how serious the push in
Congress is to reform FCC regulations?

LP: They do that from time to time, so who knows
whether in the next year it will be a really serious
endeavor. One can only speculate.

MCN: Speculate for us.

LP: I predict it is a warm-up. The Hill has so many
other things it has to deal with in the next year.
Remember, passing the Telecom Act of 1996 was probably
a seven- to nine-year process.