The Need for Speed
A New Framework for Telecommunications Policy for the 21st Century
Publication Year: 2013
The twenty-first-century telecommunications landscape is radically different from the one that prevailed as recently as the last decade of the twentieth century. Robert Litan and Hal Singer argue that given the speed of innovation in this sector, the Federal Communications Commission's outdated policies and rules are inhibiting investment in the telecom industry, specifically in fast broadband networks. This pithy handbook presents the kind of fundamental rethinking needed to bring communications policy in line with technological advances.
Fast broadband has huge societal benefits, enabling all kinds of applications in telemedicine, entertainment, retailing, education, and energy that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Those benefits would be even greater if the FCC adopted policies that encouraged more broadband providers, especially wireless providers, to make their services available in the roughly half of the country where consumers currently have no choice in wireline providers offering download speeds that satisfy the FCC's current standards.
The authors' recommendations include allowing broadband providers to charge for premium delivery services; embracing a rule-of-reason approach to all matters involving vertical arrangements; stripping the FCC of its merger review authority because both the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department have the authority to stop anticompetitive mergers; eliminating the FCC's ability to condition spectrum purchases on the identity, business plans, or spectrum holdings of a bidder; and freeing telephone companies from outdated regulations that require them to maintain both a legacy copper network and a modem IP network.
These changes and others advanced in this book would greatly enhance consumer welfare with respect to telecommunications services and the applications built around them.
Published by: Brookings Institution Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Table of Contents
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For most of those born after 1985, it is hard to imagine a worldwithout the Internet. Although it was initially supported byforce through the efforts of actors in the private sector. Telephonevideo traffic to Internet users through “last mile” connections toincreasingly, wireless technologies. In addition, millions of pri-websites and applications (“apps”) that makes the Internet so pop-...
Twentieth-Century Telecommunications Policy
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The modern communications industry has its roots in a seriesof technological innovations that over time have radicallythe telegraph and the beginning of the telephone industry. Towardmercialized on a broad scale until early in the twentieth century,cation in the 1920s and 1930s, telephones took their place as theinvented in the 1920s, but it did not take off commercially until...
Toward a Twenty-First Century Policy Framework for Telecommunications
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Broadband deployment in the United States is at a crossroads.Although virtually the entire nation is covered by two wire-broadband service, roughly 55 percent of the nation’s householdsnext-generation or “superfast” broadband as defined by the FCC.7In its sixth (2010), seventh (2011), and eighth (2012) “BroadbandProgress Report,” the FCC defined broadband as “a transmission...
Specific Policy Reforms
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The types of policies needed to encourage entry among the dis-parate types of broadband providers are not always the same.Accordingly, we divide our specific policy prescriptions into thosethat would stimulate investment by fiber operators and those thatwould stimulate investment by wireless providers. These policiesserved by one wireline provider, typically cable. The chapter ends...
The Enormous Benefits of a Broadband World
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Initially, the Internet promoted decentralization, by allowingpeople or firms physically located anywhere on the globe tothat it would lead to the “death of distance”—to a world in whichical central location and in which, by implication, cities or high-has never been realized because face-to-face, in-person interac-tions remain important and therefore so do the places where peo-...
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Page Count: 90
Publication Year: 2013