Archives: Open Technology Institute Policy Papers

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.

Unlicensed Wireless Broadband Profiles

  • By
  • Matt Barranca,
  • New America Foundation
April 16, 2004

In recent years, the license-exempt bands have been the font of astounding economic growth in the telecom sector and expanded opportunities for broadband Internet access for hundreds of thousands of Americans. In 2003 alone, an estimated 22.7 million wireless access points and networking cards using unlicensed spectrum were shipped, generating over $2.5 billion in revenues. The wide-scale adoption of WiFi technology (short for “Wireless Fidelity,” but referring to the 802.11 engineering standard for wireless local area networking) largely explains the success of the unlicensed bands.

The Decline of Broadcasters' Public Interest Obligations

  • By
  • J.H. Snider,
  • New America Foundation
March 26, 2004

The Communications Act of 1934 and its predecessor, the Radio Act of 1927, mandates that the Federal Communications Commission regulate broadcasting in the “public interest, convenience, or necessity.” This continues to be the mandate of the FCC, and the “public interest” part of the phrase appears 40 times in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Reforming Telecom Policy for the Big Broadband Era

  • By Reed Hundt, Former Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
December 19, 2003

All new media, taught Marshall McLuhan, are destined to subsume and extend all old media, and to use the old media as their content, much like large fish filling their stomachs with small fish. The fish metaphor belongs to me, not McLuhan, since he was rarely so dull in his imagery.

The big fish of today is Big Broadband – access to the Web at 10 to 100 megabits per second for homes and 1 to 10 gigabits per second for businesses. The small fish are broadcast, DSL, cable modem, and voice.

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