Chessen spent 2017 representing cable on a number of issues, with net neutrality and infrastructure probably topping the list. But he’s also had ATSC 3.0, spectrum and Sinclair’s proposed Tribune transaction on his legal radar. Chessen says that dealing fairly with others is key to his role. “The world of communications is relatively small,” he says, “you’re going to deal with this person again.” He served at the FCC for 14 years, serving on the bureau’s Digital Television Task Force and at various law firms before joining NCTA.
What have been the most important legal issues in communications for you in the past year?
No surprise, net neutrality was #1, and probably infrastructure issues would be #2.
What is your golden rule for negotiating?
The world of communications is relatively small. You’re going to deal with this person again. Look for win-win resolutions.
If you could be remembered for just one case, which case would that be and why?
I helped draft the FCC’s original Open Video Systems rules. OVS was a construct of the ’96 Act that never really went anywhere. I’d like people to say he did a pretty good job even in the face of great public ambivalence.