Tricia Paoletta is a partner with the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, where she specializes in telecommunications, trade, and technology policy. Recently recognized as a “Best Lawyer” in her field, Ms. Paoletta provides advice on regulatory and market access policy to clients before the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the U.S. Administration, and the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union. Her clients include providers of mobile broadband, autonomous vehicles, and international telecom services by subsea cable and satellite.
Ms. Paoletta has accrued considerable experience with telecommunications trade and policy in the public sector. She was director of telecommunications trade policy in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President, where she worked on a number of trade agreements covering ICT, after which she moved to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. Prior to those roles, Ms. Paoletta was senior advisor to the International Bureau Chief and Office Director at the FCC.
How can telecommunications technologies help humanity?
Technologies are developed (at least in the U.S.) by companies, and they’re developing them for corporate growth, which is a fine incentive. It’s up to regulators to ensure that technologies don’t hurt humanity. I do think some of the 5G and beyond technologies that will power robots hold promise for caring for the elderly and shut-ins, as well as automated vehicles enabling the elderly or impaired to get out of their homes and tend to the tasks of daily living with more independence.
How can corporations and researchers best serve the next generation?
Corporations should be focused on serving their customers – if the market decides the product is valuable, the next generation will probably benefit from it or subsequent versions as well.
What new apps would be a game-changer in the next five (5) years?
What value does PTC hold for you/your company?
Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP is a leading telecom law firm, particularly for subsea and satellite work. The PTC Annual Conference provides a gathering for both those sectors, and others, and so is a great venue for meeting with clients and networking.
What would you share with those interested in becoming a PTC Member?
PTC has increased its programming for members so there are a lot of learning opportunities throughout the year, but I still love the Annual Conference and the opportunity it provides for learning about so many new technological and market developments, all in beautiful Waikiki.
What advice would you share with current and future graduates interested in this field?
The technical dynamism of the ICT industry, made possible by pro-competitive policies, ensures that you’ll never be bored, but will always be challenged to stay on top of technological innovation. This field demands life-long learning, which we know leads to a more satisfying career.
What industry mogul or up-and-coming leader have you followed or are currently following, and why?
Our client base in telecom is so diverse, and I wouldn’t want to single out any chief executive, but as a lawyer, I admire those leaders who challenge the existing regulatory framework and drive change, usually to the benefit of the overall industry.
What has been a positive outcome organizationally or individually given the current state of the world?
Innovation by the various unified communications (UC) providers has made online, group communications so much easier, including the option to be seen on video or not. While there are important benefits to in-person collaboration, if we have to be remote, at least online UC platforms can easily allow us to see each other, meeting that basic human need.
About Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP
Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP is a boutique law firm focused on the communications and technology industry, including subsea cable and satellite providers. We have represented many of the world’s most innovative entities before government agencies and in nuanced business transactions. We regularly counsel communications and tech clients on international trade issues, regulation of cross-border transactions, and national security. Our firm is deliberately lean in size with deep experience in the legal areas critical to our clients’ operations. Nearly 40% of our attorneys have served in government, often in the agencies involved in regulating and enforcing laws that directly impact our clients’ work.