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Broadband


High-speed data connections, or broadband, are critical to the economy. Our work on broadband covers a wide range of topics, including the digital divide, wireline and wireless provision, spectrum, net neutrality, competition, and more.

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Press Releases

Event – Spectrum Incentive Auctions: the Nuts, Bolts and Economics

The FCC and the Administration want to make 120 MHz of spectrum currently used for broadcast available for other, presumably higher-value, wireless uses. Policymakers are proposing using voluntary auctions to encourage broadcasters to sell their licenses, but questions remain on how these incentive auctions would work in practice. Discussion at “Spectrum Incentive Auctions: the Nuts, Bolts and Economics,” hosted by the Technology Policy Institute, will focus on the economics of auctions and how spectrum incentive auctions should be structured to provide the most efficient outcomes for stakeholders. Discussants will also answer questions submitted by attendees. Questions can be submitted anonymously on the TPI website.

Press Releases

USF Reform Should Include Low-Income Subsides, Competitive Auctions

Transitioning the use of universal service funds to subsidize broadband creates a unique opportunity to reform the program. Reforms should include a focus on low-income subsides and competitive bidding in high-cost service areas, explain Scott Wallsten and Gregory Rosston in “The Path to Universal Broadband: Why We Should Grant Low-Income Subsides, and Use Auctions and Experiments to Determine the Specifics” recently published by The Economists’ Voice.

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.

Press Releases

Over Half of USF High-Cost Fund used for “General Expenses”

Over half of subsidies, or $.59 of every dollar, paid through the High-Cost Universal Service Fund go to general expenses of firms, not to directly providing support to high-cost lines, finds Scott Wallsten in “The Universal Service Fund: What Do High-Cost Subsides Subsidize?,” released today by the Technology Policy Institute. This research underscores the inefficiency in the current universal service subsidies program and, in particular, the high-cost fund. Policymakers should use the push to include broadband as part of USF to implement radical reforms.

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