Wireless

Today's app economy has created an estimated more than 500,000 jobs.

Mobile technology is expanding the digital frontiers far beyond what was even imaginable a few short years ago. To ensure that mobile broadband reaches its full potential, nations must continue to support both the deployment of mobile broadband technologies and the proliferation of mobile computing devices through which to access the Internet. Read more »

Metro's Cellphone Installation in Trouble

The Washington Examiner
The delay caused by Powerwave could last between three months and a year, depending on the bankruptcy proceedings, said Richard Bennett.

My State of the Net Comments on the Importance of the Internet to Economic Growth

January 25, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

Rob Atkinson reflects on his presentation at State of the Net.

An Inconsistent Mandate

January 9, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

Lawmakers should ignore the “single technology mandate” for some cell networks but not for others before this ill-considered notion becomes a precedent that sets the U.S. on the road to a European-style, innovation-killing mobile regulation regime.

Authoritarians Win, Internet Loses in Dubai

December 13, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

The worst case scenario came to pass at the WCIT summit in Dubai: The ITU’s authoritarian majority has adopted a host of Internet regulations that are so extreme the democratic nations of the developed world have already declared their refusal to sign. The world will be without a consensus telecom treaty for the first time in more than a century.

Sparks Will Fly at Spectrum Incentive Auctions Hearing

December 12, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

On December 12, 2012, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing with all five FCC commissioners to examine the upcoming spectrum incentive auction. Sparks will fly over the licensed vs. unlicensed apportionment and over bidder eligibility, but these issues would not be nearly so contentious if civilians had access to some of the spectrum currently held by the military.

WCIT Moves Slowly

December 6, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

WCIT began with a U. S./Canada joint proposal to keep ITU’s regulatory scope limited to telecom matters. This proposal, which hasn’t been resolved, will determine whether the most dire outcomes of the conference will come to pass.

The Gathering Storm: WCIT and the Global Regulation of the Internet

November 21, 2012
| Reports

At the upcoming International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, to be held from December 3-14, delegates will consider proposals to amend the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs,) binding rules that govern telecommunications network practices around the world. While ITRs are currently limited to the telephone network, several WCIT proposals would expand their scope, making them apply broadly across the entire Internet ecosystem. The ITRs were last amended in 1988, before the Internet was a public system and before many of the most important telecommunications systems and networks we use today were even invented. ITRs have not historically applied to the Internet, which has developed its own international governance institutions, so it’s peculiar that some nations want to extend them so radically at this stage.

In the new world of mobile networks and the Internet, the commercial sector is the network operator and each nation makes its own regulations governing networks. Shifting control of regulatory policy to a global body of regulators pressed by nations with parochial and often mercantilist Interests is not an improvement.

If any change needs to be made at all in the ITRs with respect to the Internet, it should be limited to creating a firewall between the authority of ITU and the operation of the Internet. The Internet’s organic governance system has proved to be quite effective, in no small part due to its close proximity to the Internet’s technical standards and business practices. Technologies that enable rapid rates of change need the ability to adapt to changing conditions quickly; an international treaty organization that convenes once every fifteen years does not fit the bill. The ITU is facing obsolescence as we begin to retire the telephone networks that have been its sole focus since the phase-out of the telegraph, but this existential crisis does not justify a wholesale restructuring of Internet governance.

Does the PCAST Report Move Spectrum Policy in the Right Direction?

September 21, 2012 - 9:30am - 11:00am
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
1101 K Street NW
Suite 610A
Washington
DC
20005

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recently issued a controversial report on spectrum policy. The report declares the current system of spectrum reallocation "unsustainable" and recommends that the sharing of raw spectrum by multiple network operators should be the new norm. Read more »

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