The expansion of wireless broadband is a bright spot in the U.S. economy, but a shortage of liberally licensed spectrum rights could put a crimp on this expansion. The freeing up of spectrum from other uses would allow greater expansion of wireless broadband and would bring substantial gains – likely in the hundreds of billions of dollars – for U.S. consumers, businesses, and the federal treasury. Developing a plan to increase the amount of spectrum for wireless broadband is a high priority of the FCC’s Omnibus Broadband Initiative, which is developing a national broadband plan. Failure to allocate sufficient spectrum will slow the rollout of broadband services, increase their prices, and cost consumers and taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. TPI has assembled a panel of experts to discuss the options.
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.
The growth of wireless broadband is a bright spot in the U.S. economy, but a shortage of flexibly licensed spectrum rights could put a crimp on this expansion, according to a new study released by the Technology Policy Institute. The study was coauthored by Thomas Lenard, president and senior fellow at TPI; Lawrence J. White, professor of economics at the NYU Stern School of Business; and James Riso, a research associate at TPI.
The Federal Communications Commission should not adopt its proposed Open Internet Rules, according to comments by TPI president and senior fellow Thomas Lenard. Lenard argues that “the Commission has not provided evidence showing that the rules would address a significant problem or market failure, has not identified harms to users that the proposed rules would remedy, and has not demonstrated that the benefits of the proposed rules would exceed their costs.”
The broadband study prepared by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society to help the Federal Communications Commission develop a National Broadband Plan is “incomplete and not objective,” according to TPI President and Senior Fellow Thomas Lenard. Lenard said the study “did not accomplish its intended purpose,” in an analysis submitted in response to the Commission’s request for comments on the study.
The FCC has named TPI Vice President for Research and Senior Fellow Scott Wallsten economics director of its broadband task force, which is charged with developing the U.S. national broadband plan. Wallsten will take a temporary leave of absence from TPI to work on the plan, which is scheduled to be completed in February, 2010. He will return to his position at TPI after the task force has completed its work.