Privacy Complaint in the Silly Season

October 11, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

The CEI appears to be complaining that the FCC’s privacy disclosure is too expansive, not that it’s insufficient. This is one bizarre complaint.

De-Spinning the UN Broadband Report

WASHINGTON (October 10, 2012) - What the public and policymakers do not need is another poorly constructed report claiming that the United States lags behind in broadband, which advocates are already holding up as yet more evidence of America's failed broadband policy. Read more »

De-Spinning the UN Broadband Report

October 9, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

The U.S. low ranking in broadband is not because of the broadband networks, it's more a result of our low level of computer ownership and digital literacy. This is an area where we can do more work, as ITIF has long argued. As such, ITIF believes our policy efforts should concentrate on expanding digital literacy, not on subsidizing redundant networks or bringing irrelevantly high-speed connections to those who are already connected. This is especially true since the UN notes that 100 percent of United States connections to Akamai servers are at 5 Mbps or higher.

Winning the Race 2012 Memos: Digital Communication Networks

September 24, 2012
| Reports

We live in an information-rich world in which we increasingly depend on advanced digital networks to connect our smart phones and computers with databases and information processing systems in the cloud. The opportunities for IT to deliver improvements in the economy and quality of life are multiplied by fast, reliable and pervasive digital networks. Innovation is particularly fast in the mobile world, but next-generation wireline networks form the essential foundation of all digital networking. Pervasive digital networks are also essential prerequisites for the smart grid, intelligent transportation systems, and improvements in health care.

The United States leads the world in the adoption of fourth generation LTE mobile networks, but we lag our competitors in provisioning spectrum. While the United States is not the world leader in wired broadband because of our disadvantages over some nations in population density and low rates of computer ownership, policy here can help as well. Communications policy was historically characterized by bipartisan consensus. Today that has weakened. Democrats are more likely to support an expansive research agenda and digital literacy and computer ownership programs, but they’re sometimes inclined to over-regulate and to support government in the network operations business. Republicans are more likely to rely on markets incentives to spur investment, but they’re also less inclined to intervene in areas where markets are not solving the problems that need to be solved.

2012 TPRC: 40th Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy

September 21, 2012
| Presentations

Rob Atkinson will present on the panel "A Comparison of National Broadband Strategies in Developed and Developing Countries: Perspectives, Challenges and Lessons." To mark the 40th anniversary of the first TPRC Conference in 1972, this Panel will bring together experts from TPRC and sister regional research organizations, like LIRNEasia, EuroCPR, DIRSI and Research ICT Africa!, to examine the topical issue of National Broadband Strategies from their different contexts and viewpoints. The panel will focus on a comparison and assessment of broadband strategies, a topic of continuing interest, and explore the possibilities and limitations of learning from other nations’ and regions’ experiences. A dialogue between the policymakers and the researchers may also help to develop the outline of a medium term Policy Research Agenda, covering identified current and future issues which will require further work.

Internet TV: What Must Congress Do About It? Television Regulations Coming To Your Laptop Soon?

September 21, 2012
| Presentations

Richard Bennett will present as part of The Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee's event "Internet TV: What Must Congress Do About It? Television Regulations Coming To Your Laptop Soon?"on Friday, September 21, 2012 from 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM at the Rayburn House Office Building - Room B-338.

RSVP: or via phone to 202-638-4370. Note: Registration is complimentary.

Internet TV: What Must Congress Do About It? Television Regulations Coming To Your Laptop Soon?

September 21, 2012
Richard Bennett discusses "Internet TV: What Must Congress Do About It? Television Regulations Coming To Your Laptop Soon?"

Richard Bennett presented as part of The Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee's event "Internet TV: What Must Congress Do About It? Television Regulations Coming To Your Laptop Soon?"on Friday, September 21, 2012.

Comparing the 2012 Presidential Candidates’ Technology and Innovation Policies

September 12, 2012
| Reports

Despite the obligatory acknowledgment of innovation’s central role in U.S. economic growth, the 2012 campaign has not yet seen a serious conversation emerge regarding the policies sorely needed to revitalize U.S. innovation-based economic competitiveness. Moreover, rather than adopt an “all of the above” approach to innovation policy that includes corporate tax and regulatory reform as well as increased federal investment in research and development (R&D), digital infrastructure, and skills, the candidates stress policies from “each column,” with Governor Romney focusing more on the former and President Obama more on the latter. This is unfortunate. For, as we write in the book Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage, U.S. policymakers need to recognize that the United States is engaged in a fierce race for innovation-based economic growth. To win this race, the United States will need to adopt a new, bipartisan Washington Innovation Consensus that places science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship at the center of economic policy-making and recognizes that both parties bring good ideas to the table in this regard. 

This report highlights the candidates' technology and innovation policies with the aim of amplifying the national dialogue around bolstering innovation-based economic growth. The report begins with an overview of each candidate’s general philosophy on technology, innovation, and trade policy, and then compares the candidates’ specific policy positions across 10 policy areas:

  1. Innovation and R&D
  2. Energy Innovation
  3. Tax
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Trade
  6. Education and Skills
  7. Broadband and Telecommunications
  8. Regulation
  9. Internet/Digital Economy
  10. Life Sciences and Biotechnology

The report is based on information gathered directly from the campaigns’ websites and policy documents or from media reports of statements made by the candidates. In some cases where a candidate has not articulated a specific position, the candidate’s record while in office or the position of the candidate’s party (as reflected in the Democratic or Republican party platforms) is used as a proxy.

ITIF is a non-partisan research and educational institution—a think tank—focused on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues, and does not endorse either candidate. Rather, this report seeks to provide a factual, impartial comparison of the candidates’ technology and innovation policies.