Gov. Owens will face tough crowd during Aspen telecom conference |

Gov. Owens will face tough crowd during Aspen telecom conference

Allyn Harvey

Gov. Bill Owens will likely face some tough questions about Colorado’s telecommunications when he arrives in Aspen later this month.

If you threw every telephone bill in the state into a big pile and did the math, you would find that the average user pays 28 percent of his bill to the the government. Of that, 23.9 percent goes to state and local governments, making Colorado the fifth most expensive state in the country for cyber junkies, according to the Progress and Freedom Foundation.

The Progress and Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank with libertarian leanings that studies the impacts of the digital revolution and their implications for public policy.

When Owens shows up on Aug. 20 to speak at the opening night reception of the foundation’s sixth annual summit on cyberspace, the economy and public policy, he’ll be facing a tough audience.

The “Aspen Summit,” as it has long been dubbed, will bring together some of the nation’s top leaders in digital communications to discuss everything from e-commerce and taxation to privacy and the government’s role in regulating exchange of personal information.

“What we’ve found over the time we’ve been doing this is it has gone from a blue sky kind of discussion to one that focuses on nuts and bolts,” said foundation president Dr. Jeffrey Eisenach.

The keynote speaker at this year’s summit will be Carly Fiorina, the CEO of the Hewlett Packard Corporation. Organizers expect about 200 people at the St. Regis Hotel for the Aug. 20-22 conference, titled “The Next Four Years: Politics, Policy and the 2000 Election.”

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