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“Incentive Auctions and Spectrum Thoughts” (Two Think Minimum Podcast)

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Two Think Minimum Podcast Transcript Episode 004: “Incentive Auctions and Spectrum Thoughts” Recorded on February 13, 2018 Chris: 00:00  Hello, and welcome to another episode of TPI’s podcast, Two Think Minimum. I’m Chris McGurn, TPI’s Director of Communications. On this podcast, we have focused on topics ranging from the definition of broadband to infrastructure broadly and what it means for telecommunications, the Universal Service Fund and rural broadband access. Today, we will continue to tackle the meta issues in tech policy and tech politics with a conversation on the Incentive […]

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Rural Broadband and the Universal Service Fund: Do We Fix the Digital Divide with More Cat Videos?

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The latest episode of the Technology Policy Institute’s podcast Two Think Minimum looks at the broad issues of internet access through the Universal Service Fund (USF) and rural broadband programs. During the podcast, TPI Fellow Sarah Oh and TPI Senior Fellow and President Scott Wallsten delve into the history and efficacy of these programs and analyze how we may be able to get the remaining portion of the population online. Since the Universal Service Fund was established in 1996, “$100 billion has been spent on four programs,” explains Dr. Oh. […]

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“Universal Service and Rural Broadband” (Two Think Minimum Podcast)

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Two Think Minimum Podcast Transcript Episode 003: “Universal Service and Rural Broadband” Recorded on February 6, 2018 Chris:  Hello, and welcome back to TPI’s new podcast. I’m Chris McGurn, TPI’s Director of Communications. Each week on this podcast, we facilitate a conversation between TPI fellows and eventually special guests on some of the most pressing and important issues in tech policy and tech politics. This week’s episode features a very important conversation on the Universal Service Fund and rural broadband. What that means is a matter of some debate as […]

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Further Thoughts on Economics at the FCC

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Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted its Order establishing an Office of Economics and Analytics (OEA).  Now comes the hard part – ensuring that the office is relevant and that economics plays a more important role in future Commission decisions. Tim Brennan expressed concern that putting all or most of the economists together in a single office “would create a ‘Siberia risk’ if this or future Commissions choose not to follow economic guidance.”  As those of us who have worked in and around regulatory agencies well know, economists […]

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“Infrastructure Week?” (Two Think Minimum Podcast)

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Two Think Minimum Podcast Transcript Episode 002: “Infrastructure Week?” Recorded on January 30, 2018 Chris:  Hello. Welcome back to TPI’s podcast Two Think Minimum. I’m Chris McGurn, TPI’s Director of Communications. Each week on this podcast we facilitate a conversation between TPI fellows and special guests on some of the most pressing and important issues in tech policy and tech politics. This week’s episode features a very important conversation on infrastructure. For the past couple of years, tech companies have been very good at convincing consumers that our wireless cloud-based […]

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Research Roundup January 2018: A Future with Artificial Intelligence

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*The Research Roundup is a semi-regular list of outside research we have found interesting and think is worth sharing. The views and conclusions of the papers’ authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone affiliated with TPI.* This month, TPI is gearing up for our next event, “Terminator or the Jetsons? The Economics and Policy Implications of Artificial Intelligence,” on Thursday, February 22, 2018 – register today! In that spirit, this edition of Research Roundup includes pieces on the current and potential implications of artificial intelligence (AI) for the economy, […]

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Proposal for Government-Owned 5G Network Ignores History, Everything Else We Know

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In another multiverse dimension–perhaps the one with the best ice cream–the U.S. government is planning to build and operate a 5G wireless network. In our dimension, that proposal accomplished the unthinkable and united everyone, including all five FCC commissioners, in opposition and has been pulled off the table. But for your reading pleasure we are posting here the blog that ice cream dimension TPI wrote about the network. In every country in the world except the U.S., telephone companies were once owned by the state. This arrangement did not work […]

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Berkman Center Report Neither Useful for Policy Nor Generalizable for Consumers

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Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center recently published a report comparing broadband prices for municipal and private broadband networks in 27 communities, concluding that “community-owned fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in the United States generally charge less for entry-level broadband service than do competing private providers….” The study has two main problems. First, it is not particularly useful from a policy perspective because the price of service to an individual consumer is not the same as the cost of the network to the community. Second, even as a standalone look at prices the study […]

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“What is ‘Broadband?'” (Two Think Minimum Podcast)

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Two Think Minimum Podcast Transcript Episode 001: “What is ‘Broadband?’” Recorded on January 23, 2018 Chris:  Hello. Welcome to the maiden voyage of TPI’s new podcast – Two Think Minimum. I’m Chris McGurn, TPI’s Director of Communications. Each week on this podcast, we’ll facilitate a conversation between TPI fellows and special guests on some of the most pressing and important issues in tech policy and tech politics. This week’s episode features a very important conversation on a topic that couldn’t be more relevant.  That is broadband.  What it is, what […]

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Rural Broadband Subsidies: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai frequently discusses his commitment to addressing the digital divide. As part of that, he recently proposed $500 million in additional funding to promote rural broadband access. The desire to improve rural access is laudable, but the announcement glosses over the massive subsidies rural providers already receive. U.S. consumers already subsidize rural providers to the tune of about $4.5 billion per year through the FCC’s Connect America Fund. Other programs provide even more subsidy dollars. Since 1995 the CAF (previously called the “High Cost Fund”) has distributed […]

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