February 21, 2014 - Online registration is now open for the 2014 Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum, scheduled this year for August 17 - 19. The TPI Aspen Forum brings together leaders from business, government, and academia to discuss key public policy issues affecting information and communications technology. This year's theme is, "Tech in Transition: Policy Challenges."
January 31, 2014 - Promoting competition, entry, and experimentation with innovative business models should be the goal of an updated Telecommunications Act, states Technology Policy Institute's Scott Wallsten in comments sent today to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee in response to their recent white paper. In order to achieve these goals, Wallsten urges the Committee to require the Federal Communications Commission to apply competition analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis to its decision making. In addition, Wallsten advises Congress to continue to support schemes for efficient and flexible uses of spectrum.
January 22, 2014 - Traditional pay TV is beginning to lose subscribers. Wall Street analyst Craig Moffett called this past year pay TV's "worst 12 month stretch ever." At the same time, over-the-top providers, primarily Netflix, are growing quickly. Yet, not all analysts believe Netflix has the winning business model. New business models and threats to old business models dovetail with various efforts at policy reform in Washington, including debates over usage-based billing, Internet "signal importation," and a la carte choices rather than bundles of channels. This conference will discuss these and other issues facing the video market.
January 17, 2014 - The assertion in a recent petition by public interest groups that it is impossible to anonymize data does not stand up to scrutiny, states Technology Policy Institute President Thomas Lenard in comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission. The agency should not base any decisions on this faulty analysis, which could have broader implications beyond sharing of customer proprietary network information (CPNI).
January 8, 2014 - The Information Technology revolution has produced a data revolution-now commonly referred to as "big data"-in which massive amounts of data can be collected, stored and analyzed at relatively low cost. While the benefits of big data are numerous, from tracking health risks to helping consumers find the lowest prices on goods and services, the emergence of big data has also raised privacy concerns on the part of advocates and government officials. To alleviate these concerns, some are calling for remedies to either restrict or make more transparent how data are collected and used. Speakers at the event will discuss the big data revolution, proposed remedies for privacy concerns and their potential effects, including the findings in the recent paper, "The Big Data Revolution: Privacy Considerations," authored by TPI's Thomas Lenard and Paul Rubin.
December 4, 2013 - There is no evidence that the use of "big data" for commercial and other non-surveillance purposes has caused privacy harms according to a new paper, "The Big Data Revolution: Privacy Considerations," by Technology Policy Institute's Thomas Lenard and Paul Rubin. Moreover, the familiar remedies embodied in the Fair Information Privacy Practices (FIPPs) are ill-suited to the world of big data and are potentially a serious barrier to much of the innovation we hope to see from the big data revolution.
November 22, 2013 - Economists "have committed a fundamental semantic error" by focusing on the term competition and ignoring the cooperative nature of markets, explained TPI senior fellow Paul Rubin in his Presidential Address to the Southern Economic Association this past weekend. By correctly emphasizing cooperation, economists could help combat the "emporiophobia," or the fear of markets that is prevalent in the general public and current political discourse.
November 14, 2013 - The National Telecommunications Information Agency process for awarding funds to projects through the $4.7 billion Broadband Technology Opportunities Program was "largely incoherent," explain Scott Wallsten and Gregory Rosston in "The Broadband Stimulus: A Rural Boondoggle and Missed Opportunity," released today by the Technology Policy Institute. The selection process failed to provide a means for measuring the expected cost-effectiveness of proposals, and, as a result, was highly inefficient.
November 12, 2013 - Michael D. Smith, Professor of Information Systems and Marketing and Co-Director of the Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics at Carnegie Mellon University, has joined the Technology Policy Institute as an Adjunct Senior Fellow. Smith's research focuses on firm and consumer behavior in online markets - specifically markets for digital information and digital media products. Recent papers authored by Professor Smith and his colleagues include "Piracy and Copyright Enforcement," and "Gone in 60 Seconds: The Impact of the Megaupload Shutdown on Movie Sales."
November 4, 2013 - The first major patent reform legislation in years is only two years old, yet the patent system remains plagued by wasteful litigation that is harmful to innovation. Fortunately, new patent reform legislation addressing these problems is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill.
October 31, 2013 - Video of the October 25th event, "Patent Reform 2.0: Will Proposed Reforms Address the Patent Troll Problems?" is now available on the TPI website.
October 24, 2013 - Barely two years after enactment of the first major patent reform legislation in years, serious concerns remain that the patent system, particularly as applied to software, is characterized by wasteful litigation that ultimately is harmful to innovation. Major complaints involve patent assertion entities (PAEs), also known as patent trolls. In response, the Federal Trade Commission has held workshops and issued reports, and the White House has proposed a number of administrative and legislative actions. Congress is poised to act, with a half dozen bills pending.
October 22, 2013 - Online leisure crowds out other, offline activities such as offline leisure, work, and sleep, finds Scott Wallsten in "What Are We Not Doing When We're Online?" released as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Wallsten, TPI Senior Fellow and Vice President for Research, analyzed the 2003 - 2011 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey to determine how online leisure is substituting for other leisure activities, to what extent and how online activities are evolving.
October 22, 2013 - Charles R. Hulten, Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland, has joined the Technology Policy Institute as an Adjunct Senior Fellow.
October 21, 2013 - Barely two years after enactment of the first major patent reform legislation in years, serious concerns remain that the patent system, particularly as applied to software, is characterized by wasteful litigation that ultimately is harmful to innovation. Major complaints involve patent assertion entities (PAEs), also known as patent trolls. In response, the Federal Trade Commission has held workshops and issued reports, and the White House has proposed a number of administrative and legislative actions. Congress is poised to act, with a half dozen bills pending.
October 14, 2013 - The incoming Federal Communications Commission Chairman and new Commissioner, along with the existing members, will need to take action on a host of major issues. The Commission will have to make decisions about net neutrality regardless of how the court rules, navigate competing interests in the upcoming spectrum auctions, and determine how to address competition, to name a few.
October 10, 2013 - The incoming Federal Communications Commission Chairman and new Commissioner, along with the existing members, will need to take action on a host of major issues. The Commission will have to make decisions about net neutrality regardless of how the court rules, navigate competing interests in the upcoming spectrum auctions, and determine how to address competition, to name a few.
October 1, 2013 - Barely two years after enactment of the first major patent reform legislation in years, serious concerns remain that the patent system, particularly as applied to software, is characterized by wasteful litigation that ultimately is harmful to innovation. Major complaints involve patent assertion entities (PAEs), also known as patent trolls. In response, the Federal Trade Commission has held workshops and issued reports, and the White House has proposed a number of administrative and legislative actions. Congress is poised to act, with a half dozen bills pending.
by Gregory L. Rosston and Reed E. Hundt
September 24, 2013 - The FCC has taken three different competition policy approaches: the classic role of regulating terms and conditions of sale, the modern role of using various tools to create largely deregulated, multi-firm, competitive markets, and the laissez-faire approach of believing that unregulated markets, even if monopolized, will produce the best outcome. For the most part, a light-handed modern role has proven successful. The FCC should adopt such an approach going forward with a classic regulatory role as a backstop, and it should articulate clearly its competition policy framework so that firms can understand the rules and compete to provide service to customers in a procompetitive manner.
September 19, 2013 - A critique of the Federal Trade Commission's recent approach to online privacy issues by the Technology Policy Institute's Thomas Lenard and Paul Rubin is included in the new book The Regulatory Revolution at the FTC: A Thirty-Year Perspective on Competition and Consumer Protection. The book, edited by James C. Cooper of George Mason University School of Law, is a collection of essays by leading scholars and officials on how economics-based policymaking at the Commission has laid the groundwork for sensible consumer protection and antitrust regulations. Lenard and Rubin analyze the FTC's recent privacy reports through the prism of the "regulatory revolution" at the FTC thirty years ago and find the current approach wanting in terms of yielding net benefits for consumers.
September 6, 2013 - In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, Technology Policy Institute President Thomas Lenard recommends the agency approve LightSquared's modified mobile broadband network deployment proposal.
August 9, 2013 - Increasing high-speed broadband build out is a top concern in both the U.S. and abroad. How can policymakers and companies determine appropriate and realistic funding approaches that will allow for future Internet infrastructure build outs? What policies best ensure everyone can have access (directly or indirectly) to the latest, fastest, most robust Internet networks? Participants in the panel "Who Pays for the Internet? - A Global Perspective" at this year's TPI Aspen Forum will present their ideas on this economically and politically sensitive issue. The Aspen Forum is scheduled for August 18 - 20.
August 2, 2013 - Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., President of Purdue University, will be the featured dinner speaker at the Technology Policy Institute's 2013 Aspen Forum, scheduled for August 19 - 21. In his remarks, Daniels is expected to share his thoughts on innovation in higher education.
August 2, 2013 - Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez will be the opening day keynote luncheon speaker at this year's TPI Aspen Forum, scheduled for August 18 - 20. In her remarks, Chairwoman Ramirez is expected to discuss the Commission's work and role in consumer privacy issues.
July 31, 2013 - The Technology Policy Institute has confirmed presenters for the 2013 Aspen Forum breakout sessions. The three informal, off-the-record breakout sessions will cover the pertinent topics of patents and IT, copyright and the digital economy, and clearing or sharing government spectrum for private sector use. The Aspen Forum is scheduled for August 18 - 20.
July 29, 2013 - Europe and the U.S. have distinctly different approaches to data and online privacy. In Europe, privacy is considered a fundamental right, a concept reflected in EU draft general data protection regulation currently under consideration. The U.S. is increasingly relying on multistakeholder processes, such as the ones at the W3C and the NTIA to try to develop consensus standards around which various groups can coalesce. How will the different approaches to data protection be reconciled? How will they play out in the context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations involving trade in digital goods and cross-border data flows? How will the recent revelations about the PRISM surveillance program complicate negotiation and cooperation going forward? Participants on the panel "Privacy, Data Security and Trade - Policy Choices" at this year's TPI Aspen Forum will give their views on these issues.
July 26, 2013 - Top issues being examined by Congress, from immigration to identity theft, have the potential to greatly affect the technology and communications industries. How are the issues taking shape in Congressional Committees? What's the forecast for action on matters of import to tech? The panel "Communications and IT - What Can We Expect from Congress?" at this year's TPI Aspen Forum will cover topics such as online privacy, cybersecurity, intellectual property, video and media, telecommunications and the transition to IP networks.
July 24, 2013 - The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee is holding an oversight hearing this week to examine the Federal Communications Commission's progress in planning its upcoming spectrum incentive auction. The Commission expects the auction to contribute 120 MHz of broadcast spectrum to the goal of an additional 300 MHz for mobile broadband by 2015 established by the FCC's National Broadband Plan. While the incentive auction is important and deserves the attention it is receiving from the commission and Congress, attention should also be paid to another category of spectrum: the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) spectrum. This is the most immediately available spectrum - indeed, the only significant block of spectrum that is already licensed but not deployed. Since considerable doubt exists concerning whether the incentive auction will yield anything close to the projected 120 MHz, the commission might get more "bang for the buck" by focusing greater attention on removing the remaining impediments to the deployment of the MSS spectrum.
July 23, 2013 - The closing luncheon at this year's Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum, scheduled for August 18 - 20, will feature "A Conversation with the Commissioners," with FTC Commissioners Julie Brill and Joshua Wright. The Federal Trade Commission has found itself increasingly in the spotlight on high profile technology policy issues including privacy and data security, competition and antitrust, and intellectual property protection. The discussion, which will be moderated by Politico technology reporter Tony Romm, will touch on these and other issues.
July 19, 2013 - Randal S. Milch, Executive Vice President of Public Policy and General Counsel at Verizon, will be the keynote speaker opening the final day of this year's TPI Aspen Forum. The conference is scheduled for August 18 - 20 in Aspen, Colorado.
July 12, 2013 - R. Stanton Dodge, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Colorado-based Dish Network will offer welcoming remarks at the Sunday evening opening reception of this year's TPI Aspen Forum. The conference is scheduled for August 18 - 20 in Aspen, Colorado. Robert W. Crandall, TPI Adjunct Senior Fellow and Nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution, is scheduled to open the Monday morning session of the conference. Crandall, one of the nation's most prominent industrial organization and telecommunications economists, will discuss the future of broadband policy and how to avoid repeating past mistakes. Specifically, he will discuss how policy should be informed by the results of past interventions as well as by an accurate assessment of current market conditions.
July 2, 2013 - The upcoming FCC incentive auctions, which aim to facilitate market-based transfer of spectrum from broadcast TV to broader wireless uses, may be the most complex the Commission has ever conducted. Many questions remain regarding how the auction should be structured and carried out. For example, within the constraints imposed by Congress, should the auctions maximize revenues, new spectrum available, or something else? What band plan will best contribute to a successful auction and thriving post-auction wireless ecosystem? What are the implications of potential participation restrictions imposed on certain wireless providers? How can the auction ensure robust participation by broadcasters?
June 28, 2013 - Discounted registration for the Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum has been extended through the July 4th holiday week. The discount of $500 off the regular registration fee is now available through Monday, July 8th.
June 21, 2013 - Creative destruction occurs when new companies or business models replace existing ones, transforming existing industries or creating entirely new ones. This phenomenon is especially pronounced in the tech industry, where such disruptions can dramatically and quickly change the competitive landscape. The panel "Deconstructing Creative Destruction" at this year's TPI Aspen Forum will feature start-up founders, market analysts and academics who will attempt to unpack the black box of disruptive innovation by exploring how entrepreneurs take on established industries and the obstacles standing in their way.
June 7, 2013 - As the internet becomes an increasingly integral part of our lives for work and entertainment, there is increased focus on the economics of the internet ecosystem. Are markets for broadband and applications sufficiently competitive? Are they delivering what consumers and businesses want and need? Most importantly, is government providing a framework that encourages investment and innovation? The panel "Competition, Regulation and the Evolution of Internet Business Models" at the TPI Aspen Forum will feature speakers from broadband providers, government and academia to discuss such topics as: the economics of broadband platforms, business models and pricing plans, investment in infrastructure and applications, and the need to update public policies accordingly.
May 23, 2013 - The Obamaphone controversy-whether government should subsidize wireless phone service for the poor-has two great ironies. The first is that wireless subsidies, which are part of the Lifeline and Linkup programs, were actually begun under Republicans President Bush and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. This irony has been well documented and thoroughly enjoyed by many liberals.
May 21, 2013 - Exclusive focus by policymakers and advocates on increasing broadband speeds removes from consideration other metrics that may be as or more important to innovation, explains Scott Wallsten in "The Real Benefits of Gigabit Networks Have Nothing to do with Speed," released today by the Technology Policy Institute. The focus on broadband speed, "also obscures the real benefits of new high-speed networks like Google Fiber, which include new competition and revealed information about how local rules and regulations can hamper entry into the broadband market."
May 17, 2013 - A preview agenda is now available for the 2013 Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum, scheduled for August 18 - 20.
May 16, 2013 - Barry Diller's new Aereo venture may turn out to be the ultimate Catch-22. Aereo is possible only because of the existence of broadcast television, but broadcasters view it as a threat and have warned that they may stop broadcasting. If that happens, broadcast television and Aereo could both cease to exist.
May 14, 2013 - This is in response to ICANN's request for comments on the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) Beijing Communique of 11 April 2013. The GAC Communique recommends that ICANN implement a range of regulations (which the GAC calls "safeguards") for all new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) covering areas ranging from malware to piracy to trademark and copyright infringement. The GAC proposes specific safeguards for regulated and professional sectors covering areas as diverse as privacy and security, consumer protection, fair lending and organic farming. Finally, the GAC proposes a "public interest" requirement for approval of new "exclusive registry access" gTLDs.
May 3, 2013 - The Technology Policy Institute and the Progressive Policy Institute will host a luncheon discussion on tax reform and simplification on May 7th from 11:45am to 1:15pm.
April 30, 2013 - The mobile satellite service (MSS) spectrum is the spectrum most immediately available for meeting the Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan goals, explain Thomas Lenard and Lawrence White in "The Spectrum Crunch, MSS Spectrum and LightSquared," released today by the Technology Policy Institute. To help reach its goal, the agency should grant LightSquared's request to modify its spectrum license and allow the company to move forward with its 4G-LTE network.
April 10, 2013 - In the midst of juggling paperwork and forms during tax season it's tempting to imagine a world where your income tax forms spontaneously appear in your mailbox or inbox, filled out by the good graces of the IRS, ready for signature, free of charge. Return-free filing is touted in a recent piece by ProPublica and NPR, which makes the case that Americans could be spared needless frustration, anxiety and paperwork were it not for the lobbying efforts of Intuit, maker of TurboTax, and the pernicious influence of anti-tax activists. Unfortunately, the facts tell a different story and return-free filing advocates rest their case on a number of fallacies.
April 5, 2013 - The Federal Communication Commission's recent Mobility Fund Phase 1 Auction should be considered a "qualified success," illustrating that reverse auctions and cost-effectiveness measures can be efficient ways to distribute Universal Service subsidies, explains Scott Wallsten in "Two Cheers for the FCC's Mobility Fund Reverse Auction," released today by the Technology Policy Institute. However, in order to address possible issues with future reverse auctions, the Commission should consider analyzing auction eligibility requirements, how it evaluates bids, and using different auction designs to discourage strategic bidding.
March 7, 2013 - Individual operators of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) should determine if registration policies should be "open" or "closed," recommends Technology Policy Institute President Thomas Lenard in comments filed with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Leaving the decision to the operator allows experimentation and innovation in business models and promotes flexibility, making it easier to allocate gTLDs to the highest-valued use as business models or economic conditions change.
February 28, 2013 - In his recent paper, "Is There Really a Spectrum Crisis? Quantifying the Factors Affecting Spectrum License Value," TPI's Scott Wallsten found that spectrum auction prices increased from 2007 - 2011, suggesting that demand for wireless services outpaced technological improvements in spectrum usage and increases in spectrum supply. Both the Federal Communications Commission and Congress have made moving spectrum into the market a priority. Are the proposed spectrum auctions and release of spectrum for unlicensed uses enough to ease the "crunch"?
February 12, 2013 - Online registration is now open for the Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum, scheduled this year for August 18 - 20.
February 1, 2013 - In his recent paper, "Is There Really a Spectrum Crisis? Quantifying the Factors Affecting Spectrum License Value," TPI's Scott Wallsten found that spectrum auction prices increased from 2007 - 2011, suggesting that demand for wireless services outpaced technological improvements in spectrum usage and increases in spectrum supply. Both the Federal Communications Commission and Congress have made moving spectrum into the market a priority. Are the proposed spectrum auctions and release of spectrum for unlicensed uses enough to ease the "crunch"?
January 24, 2013 - Spectrum license values have steadily increased over the past five years, explains Scott Wallsten in "Is There Really a Spectrum Crisis? Quantifying the Factors Affecting Spectrum License Value." From 2007 to 2011, spectrum auction prices in terms of dollars per MHz-pop increased, suggesting that demand for wireless services outpaced technological improvements in spectrum usage. Therefore, Wallsten advises, "The FCC and NTIA should continue to move spectrum into the market and ensure that spectrum already available be able to move smoothly and efficiently through secondary transactions."
January 14, 2013 - Robert W. Crandall, one of the most prominent industrial organization economists working today, has joined the Technology Policy Institute as an Adjunct Senior Fellow. "Bob has done fundamental research in telecommunications, antitrust and other areas of regulatory policy," said TPI president Tom Lenard. "We are extremely pleased he is joining us."
January 7, 2013 - After investigating Google's search practices for almost two years, the Federal Trade Commission and its staff undoubtedly wanted more than the few voluntary modifications to which Google has agreed. But the Commission demonstrated its professionalism by concluding that the evidence did not support bringing an antitrust case and that no additional remedy was likely to benefit consumers.
December 17, 2012 - In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission, Technology Policy Institute President Thomas Lenard recommends the agency approve LightSquared's license modification request in order to hasten deployment of its mobile broadband network. Having already made significant investments, LightSquared remains the most immediate prospect for becoming a viable competitor in the mobile broadband space, particularly for underserved areas.
November 23, 2012 - 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.
October 25, 2012 - "The privacy debate is taking place in an empirical vacuum," state Thomas Lenard and Paul Rubin in "The FTC and Privacy: We Don't Need No Stinking Data" published in The Antitrust Source, a journal of the American Bar Association. The article evaluates two recent Federal Trade Commission privacy reports and concludes that they suffer from a lack of data and analysis and therefore "are seriously deficient as a foundation for new policy recommendations."
October 10, 2012 - A decision on whether to bring a potentially historic antitrust case against Google is imminent, and the Federal Trade Commission will be judged, for better or worse, on what it decides.
August 29, 2012 - Webcasts are now available of the discussion panels and keynote speakers at the Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum.
August 8, 2012 - The Technology Policy Institute's 2012 Aspen Forum is set to convene in just over a week, on Sunday August 19th and concluding Tuesday, August 21st. Keynote speakers at the 2012 Aspen Forum include Philip Falcone, Chief Executive Officer of Harbinger Capital Partners; Erik Brynjolfsson from MIT; The Wall Street Journal's Gordon Crovitz; Google's General Counsel, Kent Walker; Jon Summers, Senior Vice President, Applications and Service Infrastructure for AT&T; and author Andrew Keen. Just added to the agenda is Tim Westergren, Chief Strategy Officer and Founder of Pandora.
August 7, 2012 - As the Internet has grown, antitrust enforcement in the internet sector has become a priority in both the United States and Europe. In order to best serve consumers' interests, antitrust policy in this dynamic sector needs to be based on an accurate understanding of how the competitive process works. Participants in the panel "Internet Competition: Implications for Antitrust" at the Technology Policy Institute's 2012 Aspen Forum will discuss this issue generally and assess the record of antitrust enforcement against high tech and internet-based companies. Online registration for the Aspen Forum can be performed on the TPI website.
August 6, 2012 - Earlier this year, the White House and the Federal Trade Commission released major privacy reports endorsing a multistakeholder process to develop voluntary codes of conduct as well as legislation to augment self-regulatory efforts. Panelists for the session "Multistakeholder Processes for Privacy: Regulation, Self-Regulation or Markets" at the Technology Policy Institute's 2012 Aspen Forum will discuss these reports as well as efforts by the Department of Commerce and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to implement some of the reports' recommendations. In addition, the panelists will discuss FTC enforcement under its existing authority. The session will be moderated by Thomas Lenard, President and Senior Fellow at the Technology Policy Institute.
August 2, 2012 - Two panel discussions at the Technology Policy Institute's 2012 Aspen Forum will cover an array of forthcoming national and international internet policy issues. The panels will feature U.S. and foreign government officials and public policy experts from a range of Internet corporations. The Aspen Forum is scheduled for August 19 - 21.
July 31, 2012 - The Technology Policy Institute has confirmed presenters for the 2012 Aspen Forum breakout sessions. The three informal, off-the-record breakout sessions will cover the pertinent topics of copyright and piracy, cybersecurity, and the economics of internet infrastructure, content, and applications. The Aspen Forum is scheduled for August 19 - 21.
July 24, 2012 - Philip Falcone, Chief Executive Officer of Harbinger Capital Partners, will be the featured dinner speaker at the Technology Policy Institute's 2012 Aspen Forum, scheduled for August 19 - 21. Falcone, is expected to share his perspective on investment and innovation in the communications industry, including his views on spectrum and broadband policy.
July 19, 2012 - There is still time to register for the Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum, scheduled for August 19 - 21 at the St. Regis in Aspen, Colorado. An updated agenda is available here.
July 18, 2012 - Can "self-regulation" adequately protect privacy online? That question was posed during a recent Senate Commerce Committee hearing focused on the current self-regulatory effort to develop a "Do-Not-Track" (DNT) mechanism - and answered in the negative by the committee's senior Democrats, who believe privacy legislation is long overdue. Commerce Committee Chairman Rockefeller emphasized that he was speaking for consumers. But despite years of such hearings, the benefits to consumers of privacy regulation of any kind - let alone net benefits (i.e., benefits minus costs) - have yet to be demonstrated.
June 27, 2012 - Discounted registration for the Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum has been extended an additional week. The discount of $500 off the regular registration fee is now available through Monday, July 9th.
June 26, 2012 - While the majority of research on file-sharing has focused primarily on whether file-sharing has decreased record sales, less attention has been paid to how much of the sales decline can be attributed to file sharing. At the event, "The Effect of File Sharing on Music and Movie Sales: Reviewing the Research," Stan Liebowitz, Ashbel Smith Professor of Economics at the University of Texas at Dallas, will discuss the findings of his recent paper, "The Metric is the Message: How much of the Decline in Sound Recording Sales is due to File-Sharing?" In the paper, Liebowitz applies a consistent metric to existing research and finds that most estimates indicate that file-sharing is responsible for the entire decline in record sales. Coleman Bazelon from The Brattle Group, Inc., coauthor of "The Impact of Digitization on Business Models in Copyright-Driven Industries," will discuss the findings of Liebowitz's paper.
May 21, 2012 - A preview agenda is now available for the 2012 Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum, scheduled for August 19 - 21. Confirmed keynote speakers include Erik Brynjolfsson, Schussel Family Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business; and Gordon Crovitz, Co-Founder of Press+ and Columnist and Former Publisher of the Wall Street Journal. The Forum will also feature a conversation with Representatives Marsha Blackburn and Cliff Stearns.
May 16, 2012 - Internet data traffic growth shows no signs of slowing anytime soon and peak traffic is projected to grow even faster due to many factors, including growth in video and cloud-based services and richer content on major websites. The changing nature of demand for bandwidth has potentially large implications for our communications landscape. For example, it may already be straining long-standing peering and transit agreements as traditional balances of traffic change and is increasingly testing the viability of the traditional "all-you-can-eat" broadband pricing models.
April 17, 2012 - The Technology Policy Institute, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, and Silicon Flatirons are pleased to host "The Innovation Consensus: Economic Growth in 2013 and Beyond." The half-day conference will explore issues surrounding America's innovation potential and how it impacts our global competitiveness. Participants will discuss how to move innovation issues to the front and center of our political system with support from both sides of the aisle.
April 2, 2012 - The privacy code of conduct developed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) multistakeholder (MSH) process will apply to many more consumers and firms than can be directly involved in the process. Therefore, code provisions should be analyzed in much the same way as a regulation in order to assure that they produce benefits in excess of costs, states Thomas Lenard in comments filed today with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. By adopting a process for cost-benefit analysis, the agency can ensure the interests of all stakeholders, including present and future Internet users, are represented.
March 29, 2012 - Antitrust officials in the U.S. and Europe act as if they've found their next Microsoft and seem ready to party like it's 1999. At a Senate hearing last year, former antitrust division chief Thomas Barnett, representing Google's competitors, accused Google of "using its extraordinary power to manipulate users and foreclose the ability of other sites to compete." Yelp cofounder Jeremy Stoppelman wondered "whether new ideas can compete fairly" against Google. (Apparently they can; several weeks ago, Yelp had a very successful IPO). Both the chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee support the current Federal Trade Commission investigation.
March 14, 2012 - The Technology Policy Institute, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, and Silicon Flatirons are pleased to host "The Innovation Consensus: Economic Growth in 2013 and Beyond."
February 21, 2012 - The purchase of spectrum proposed in the Verizon Wireless-SpectrumCo deal should benefit consumers and does not in itself raise antitrust concerns because the spectrum is currently not being used, explains Scott Wallsten in comments filed today with the Federal Communication Commission. In addition, the proposed joint commercial agreements, which are common across industries, should be analyzed according to the Antitrust Guidelines for Collaborations Among Competitors defined by the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice.
February 17, 2012 - Online registration is now open for the Technology Policy Institute Aspen Forum, scheduled this year for August 19 - 21.
February 9, 2012 - Arlene Holen, Senior Fellow at the Technology Policy Institute, urged policymakers to consider the costs and benefits of its proposed "real-time tax system" in a statement submitted to the Internal Revenue Service.