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Commentaries and Op-Eds

Immigration Reform Is a Painless Way to Reduce the Deficit

In his post-election acceptance speech, President Obama said “fixing our immigration system” would be one of the first items on his legislative agenda and “we need to seize the moment”. But the president and the congress face a more immediate task: backing away from the “fiscal cliff” and coming up with a plan to avoid the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to kick in starting January 1. Easing immigration restrictions for high-skilled workers can help achieve that objective.

Commentaries and Op-Eds

Use the Market to Allocate Spectrum

Congress is now considering legislation to grant the FCC new authority to hold voluntary incentive auctions for spectrum. This legislation would alleviate shortages of spectrum that are threatening to hold back the development of a wireless broadband platform capable of competing with wireline platforms. It would boost the economy and advance our progress toward a more efficient, market-oriented spectrum regime.

Commentaries and Op-Eds

Improving ICANN’s Governance and Accountability: A Policy Proposal

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has control over extremely important aspects of the Internet. Yet, its non-profit corporation status, combined with the way that it is funded and governed, make accountability a serious problem. This paper draws on the accountability framework that has been developed by Mueller (2009) to evaluate the structure and governance of ICANN and then compares it to the structure and governance of a number of other organizations that perform a roughly comparable range of coordination and standard-setting functions, to explore what might be applicable to ICANN. Virtually all of these other organizations are governed by their direct users, thereby building accountability into their structures. We suggest that this would be a good model for ICANN as well.

Commentaries and Op-Eds

The Path to Universal Broadband: Why We Should Grant Low-Income Subsidies and Use Experiments and Auctions to Determine the Specifics

Gregory Rosston of Stanford University and Scott Wallsten of the Technology Policy Institute argue that the switch from voice to broadband services provides a rare opportunity to reform universal service programs. Rossten and Wallsten offer an alternative design to deliver services in an efficient and politically-palatable manner.

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