Filling Gaps in US Spectrum Allocation: Reforms for Collaborative Management
With the rapid rise of wireless technology, the demand for access to the spectrum has increased in recent years. However, there are critical and interrelated gaps and failures in the process and policies used for efficiently allocating the spectrum in the US. Key takeaways from an analysis on this issue include the following:
Comments to the FCC Regarding Implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Prevention and Elimination of Digital Discrimination
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provides the federal government with the resources necessary to close the digital divide based on lack of service in certain geographic areas and make broadband available to all Americans. ITIF appreciates this opportunity to comment on how the Federal Communications Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking should implement the provisions of the IIJA related to purported “digital discrimination.” The FCC’s primary goal in this rulemaking should be adherence to the text of the statute and to close the digital divide.
Building on Uncle Sam’s “Beachfront” Spectrum: Six Ways to Align Incentives to Make Better Use of the Airwaves
The federal government’s use of spectrum dates back to the beginning when radio frequencies were used to communicate—and so does the policy question of how to apportion spectrum access between government and private uses. The federal government has important missions that require the use of the electromagnetic spectrum. But federal spectrum lacks market discipline and profit motives, so it does not tend toward efficient use. Six proposals to improve upon this include the following:
Is US Broadband Service Slow?
Opponents of the current private-sector-provided broadband system have long engaged in a campaign to convince people that US broadband is deficient. Critics malign the quality of US broadband networks by claiming the speeds are too slow. But the question of speed is deceptively complex since there is general confusion over what constitutes “fast” broadband.
Consumers Are the Ones Who End Up Paying for Sending-Party-Pays Mandates
Policymakers in the US and other nations have begun to consider, and in some cases implement, policies that seek to get edge companies—those who produce and send content to end users over the Internet—to pay a larger share of the cost to build and maintain Internet service providers’ (ISPs’) broadband network infrastructure.
Why We Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Spectrum Windfalls
Many attempts to increase the flexibility of wireless spectrum rights meet objections that the method of reallocation will result in a windfall for corporate license holders. Far from being objectionable, however, allowing windfalls in spectrum reallocation creates virtuous incentives. Past restrictions on the supply of flexible-use rights to the spectrum have resulted in a rigid system, which is not in the public interest because the most productive uses of the spectrum change rapidly.
Five Principles for Spectrum Policy: A Primer for Policymakers
Spectrum policy takes engineering and technical realities as inputs to a decision-making process that is driven by normative principles. While many competing principles have had their heyday, these five are enduring guides to making spectrum work in the public interest:
Spectrum Sharing: Holy Grail or False Hope?
This report assesses spectrum sharing to help observers look realistically at the prospects for sharing and barriers to realizing its more aspirational promises. Key findings include:
Ten (Suggested) Commandments for Closing the Digital Divide
While the task of permanently closing this gap is daunting, the right policy framework to accomplish it can be summed up in two overarching principles: make the most of available funds, and make sure that the projects on which the money is spent are seen through and bear fruit. By taking the following steps, however, states would be well positioned to direct limited funds in ways that would produce maximum connectivity for their citizens.
Broadband Myths: Do ISPs Engage in “Digital Redlining?”
Some activists have begun to frame location-based broadband discrepancies in racial terms, accusing Internet service providers (ISPs) of “digital redlining.” But an analysis of Census data and facts on the ground has found that the “digital redlining” narrative—while an emotion-triggering term—does not stand up to scrutiny.