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AI Regulatory Issues in the Communications Sector

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the communications sector are intimately intertwined, as virtually all aspects of everyday life may be connected to the Internet of Things.

At its core, AI (particularly cloud-based) relies on fast, reliable and secure connectivity to handle large amounts of data. In turn, AI can help reduce the cost and improve the quality and speed of data transmission and connectivity by enabling automatic optimal networks utilization and radio spectrum sharing.

Existing communications regulations and policies generally pre-date the development of robust AI capabilities. They often rely on obsolete concepts based on the Public Telephone Switch Network and, sometimes, may have the inadvertent effect of prohibiting new AI-embedded services and applications. It is no surprise, therefore, that several government agencies in charge of communications regulation and policy around the world are currently considering the role of AI in spectrum sharing, smart network management and in the communications sector in general to ensure that communications regulation and policy do not deter investment in and deployment of AI. Earlier this year, for example, the EU’s Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) – an advisory group that assists the EU Commission in the development of radio spectrum policy – announced that it plans to discuss the role of AI in spectrum sharing and in the communications field in general over the coming months. It is also likely that as the use of cloud-based AI increases, issues that have long been taken as dead in communications policy, such as open-air vs. in-building coverage, or geographic vs. population coverage as the basis for network licensing, will have to be re-visited, with potentially profound effects on the economics of the communications industry.

Our Communications team is deeply familiar with the potential regulatory and policy issues arising from the use of AI. We can offer creative, business-oriented solutions to mitigate regulatory risks and to shape the policy debate to enable the full potential of AI embedded applications (e.g., autonomous vehicles, drones, smart grid, small cells, etc.). In particular, our experience includes:

  • Global experience in spectrum policymaking, allocation and assignment
  • Experience in coordinating a seamless global advocacy strategy before the competent regulatory and policy bodies
  • Devising global regulatory compliance programs for AI-embedded applications
  • Assisting in obtaining regulatory permits or waivers, where needed
  • Resolving regulatory disputes and government investigations
  • Advising on the regulatory implications of the use of AI for smart network management and spectrum sharing
  • World-leading expertise in the development and deployment of intelligent transportation systems and technologies, including autonomous vehicles

Devising and coordinating a seamless global advocacy strategy before the competent regulatory and policy bodies