As I noted in my January 17th blog post, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is complaining loudly that the bill now pending before the House Energy & Commerce Committee would unduly constrict the agency’s ability to condition any voluntary incentive auction for much-needed beachfront broadcast spectrum.  Recently, former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt came to his protégé’s defense, noting that: no one will benefit if Congress insists on telling the FCC—as the House bill does—who is eligible to bid or how the auction should be conducted. To have an efficient, fair, unpoliticized, neutral, pro-market auction the FCC should continue to be an auctioneer that is above political …
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What is the effect of the mobile Internet on the economy?  This question is an important one, and one that has drawn significant attention by researchers, policymakers, and even the President.  What makes answers to this question difficult to come by is that while the Internet may influence things like income, education, depression, and so forth, Internet use may in turn be influenced by income, education, depression, and so forth.  Establishing the causal direction of the relationship, and its magnitude, can be challenging. Due to the present economic woes, the effect of the Internet on job creation is an empirical question of substantial importance.   The …
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At the State of the Union earlier this week, President Obama repeated his professed goal implementing meaningful regulatory reform.  For example, while the President noted that “we need smart regulations to prevent irresponsible behavior”, the President also again recognized that “[t]here is no question that some regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly.” To support his “walking the walk” about meaningful regulatory reform, the President boasted that “I’ve approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his.”  Mr. Obama also boasted that “I’ve ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that don’t make sense. We’ve already …
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This past Sunday, Kevin Fitchard wrote a piece in GigaOm entitled If Comcast Can’t Make It in the Wireless Biz, Who Can?  In this piece, Mr. Fitchard laments that Comcast’s decision to sell its AWS spectrum to, and enter into a joint marketing agreement with, Verizon, rather than construct their own 4G network, “raises some troubling questions about the state of the U.S. wireless industry.”  According to Mr. Fitchard, “if a company with a $71 billion market cap and deep roots in the telecom service provider business can’t make a go of the wireless business, what hope is there for any newcomer?”  Mr. Fitchard asks …
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While attending the Consumer Electronics Show last week, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski observed in his speech to the assembled technology glitterati that “… virtually every new product on the CES floor is fueled by broadband Internet—by connectivity and bandwidth, wired and wireless.  If you shut off the Internet, virtually nothing on the CES floor would work.”  Certainly, the rapid innovation in edge devices is a wonderful thing.  But, such innovation may not be traveling alone.   That is, economic theory suggests this rapid increase in the number and sophistication of edge devices may be accompanied by an increase in the intensity of price competition among broadband …
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One of the major stories that came out of CES last week was (in the words of the Wall Street Journal) the “flood” of new Internet content and mobile devices reaching consumers’ living rooms.  In fact, this has been the story coming out of CES for the past few years.  Given such developments, it continues to puzzle me not only that the FCC refuses to announce, at least formally, that it intends to drop its ill-conceived AllVid paradigm, but that it also refuses to announce that it intends to seek to sunset Section 629 of the Communications Act altogether. By way of quick background, Section …
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Spectrum Caps 01

Most industry experts and pundits agree that the U.S. needs more spectrum in the hands of commercial mobile broadband providers.  To this end, Congress should be commended for their efforts to pass legislation to give the Federal Communications Commission the authority to hold voluntary incentive auctions to help facilitate the transfer of prime spectrum from broadcasters to mobile broadband providers.  As noted yesterday in Larry’s post, however, last week at CES FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski blasted a bill currently working its way through the House Energy and Commerce Committee because the proposed legislation would eliminate the FCC’s ability to preclude certain companies from participating in …
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For those interested in spectrum policy, I would commend folks to read FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s speech at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) last week. The Chairman began his speech by acknowledging once again that because America is facing looming spectrum exhaust, Congress should quickly pass legislation authorizing the FCC to conduct voluntary spectrum auctions for the purpose of transferring television broadcast spectrum to mobile broadband providers.  Indeed, the Chairman noted that absent that ability for wireless carriers to access more spectrum, “American consumers will face slower speeds, more dropped connections, and higher prices.”  (To illustrate this point, see the recent article in Forbes reporting …
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Welcome to the @lawandeconomics Blog…

January 17th, 2012 | Posted by Phoenix Center in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

Dear Phoenix Center Community: Welcome to @lawandeconomics, the official blog of the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies. With this blog, we intend to provide real-time comment on current events, as well as to highlight market examples of the relevancy of our research. As with our Policy Papers, Policy Bulletins, Policy Perspectives and other published research, our blog posts will be well-grounded in fact, law and economic theory. And, of course, for those of you who have attended our Symposiums and other events, you know that we try to be both educational and entertaining, so we at least hope our blog …
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