Archives: Open Technology Institute Policy Papers

Reclaiming the Vast Wasteland: The Engineering Case

  • By Michael Marcus, Director, FCC Office of Engineering and Technology; Paul Kolodzy, former Director, FCC Spectrum Policy Task Force; and Andrew Lippman, founding Associate Director, MIT Media Lab
October 18, 2005

On May 13, 2004, the Federal Communications Commission approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to allow a new generation of wireless devices to utilize vacant television channel frequencies in each market. This so-called TV band “white space” consists of frequencies that are allocated for television broadcasting but are not actually in use in a given area. The FCC’s proposed rulemaking is pending but currently inactive.

Speeding the DTV Transition

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • Naveen Lakshmipathy,
  • New America Foundation
May 25, 2005

For the complete document, please see the attached PDF version below.

Should DTV Must-Carry be Expanded, Sunset or Preserved As-Is?

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • New America Foundation
May 19, 2005

In an age of telecommunications convergence and Internet TV, DTV must-carry is a historical relic that nevertheless is likely to be preserved and expanded. Given that political reality, this paper makes two recommendations: 1) in the long-term, must-carry should be sunset and transformed into a blanket network neutrality rule for the Internet TV era, and 2) in the short-term, broadcasters should be held to quantifiable and enforceable public interest standards in exchange for any expansion of must-carry.

For the complete document, please see the attached PDF version below.

The Digital Opportunity Investment Trust and America's Global Leadership

  • By Eamon Kelly, President Emeritus, Tulane University
February 18, 2005

The digital age has drastically reshaped the world that we live in—making communication faster, information more accessible, and our knowledge more expansive than ever before. With even more information at our fingertips, it has become increasingly difficult to keep up with the pace of information output. Knowledge is now the principal source of wealth creation and new jobs in the United States.

The Cost to the Nation of Underinvestment in Educational R&D

  • By Dr. Thomas Stratmann, Professor of Economics, George Mason University
February 18, 2005

Over the past thirty years, by many measures, U.S. student educational performance has not improved. Some measures of educational achievement have actually decreased. This development is coupled with a dramatic decline in the productivity of educational spending: As a nation, we spend more and more to obtain the same level of educational achievement. Other industrialized countries do much better than the U.S. when comparing educational performance and the productivity of educational spending. With respect to educational achievement, the position of the U.S.

The Economic Case for Dedicated Unlicensed Spectrum Below 3GHz

  • By William Lehr, Associate Director, Research Program on Internet & Telecoms Convergence, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
July 1, 2004

There is general agreement that traditional mechanisms for managing radio frequency (RF) spectrum are inefficient and in need of significant reform. Many, if not most, of the economists who have considered the issue appear to concur with the view that increased reliance on market forces would enhance efficiency, and support assigning spectrum via transferable, flexible licenses, especially when spectrum is perceived to be scarce.

NAF Plan to Speed the DTV Transition

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • New America Foundation
May 12, 2004

There is a general consensus that accelerating the digital TV transition -- thereby freeing up the 108 MHz of “beachfront” spectrum corresponding to TV channels 52- to-69 -- is clearly in the public interest. Because transmissions at this frequency range pass easily through walls and trees, the 700 MHz band could jumpstart the deployment of more affordable wireless broadband connections, particularly in rural areas.

Universal Community Access from Thin Air?

  • By
  • Matt Barranca,
  • Michael Calabrese,
  • New America Foundation
May 1, 2004

For the complete document, please see the attached PDF version below.

The Cartoon Guide to Federal Spectrum Policy

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • New America Foundation
April 20, 2004

Thanks to the computer revolution, radios are evolving from being dumb to smart devices, which allows wireless networking and communication based on dynamic sharing of frequency bands. This radio revolution calls for radically different government regulation of public access to the radio spectrum, popularly known as the "public airwaves." Increasingly, access to spectrum should be regulated based on free speech ("unlicensed") rather than exclusive speech ("licensed") regulatory principles.

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