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InfoTech & Telecom

Infotech & Telecom
October 18, 2016
Wikipedia is Broken, Biased, and Corrupt
Left-wing activists have hijacked The Heartland Institute’s profile at Wikipedia, removing objective descriptions of our programs and publications and replacing them with lies, errors, and outright libelous claims.
InfoTech & Telecom
March 23, 2017
Google Out to Steal From Australians
Google proves the adage that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
InfoTech & Telecom
March 22, 2017
You’d Never Have Heard Of Google And Facebook, Netflix And Uber Without…
Everything these companies own, owe themselves to Internet Service Providers (ISPs.)
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InfoTech & Telecom
March 19, 2017
Pai’s FCC is Rebooting Broadband Facilities Competition and 5G Investment
Many don’t appreciate the huge 5G private sector infrastructure buildout ahead, or the tens of billions of dollars in private investment required to advance America to a 5G world that broadly will enable mobile connectivity at gigabit speeds.
InfoTech & Telecom
March 18, 2017
Look What’s Happened Since the FTC Stopped Google Antitrust Enforcement
The evidence is overwhelming that Alphabet-Google has broadly extended its search and search monopolies into several more markets, and that it has done so anti-competitively in the four years since the FTC chaotically shut down its search.
InfoTech & Telecom
March 14, 2017
The Constitution Protects Us…From Government. And Only From Government
Candidate Donald Trump ran on massive regulatory rollbacks. And won thereon. Since being sworn in, he’s – in very un-Washington-D.C.-fashion – adhered to and started implementing his campaign promises.
 

The Issue

Three decades of U.S. telecom policy were reversed on February 26, 2015, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), by a 3–2 vote, reclassified broadband telecommunications as a public utility. If the decision survives the current court challenge, the FCC will have unprecedented power to regulate consumer and wholesale broadband pricing, quality of service, and service bundling.

Although the FCC assures it will “forbear” the full scope of regulatory powers it now has under Title II, it has assumed the authority to regulate content and applications, impose additional taxes and fees on services, and use its discretion to respond to any situation or practice where it believes competition, investment, free access, or the utility of the Internet is endangered.

Until now, the prevailing policy toward telecommunications and the Internet supported deregulation of voice services, light regulation of ISPs, and almost no regulation of Internet content and applications. Under this policy, Internet use has grown explosively; a 2014 report estimated 87 percent of U.S. adults regularly use the Internet, up from 79 percent in 2010 and 66 percent in 2005.

There are serious doubts this can continue in the regulated environment the FCC has imposed in recent years. Congress, as well as state and local governments, can resist this regulatory agenda by pursuing proven policies that have worked for years because they stimulate market forces and private industry initiative and respond to real customer needs and wants. The alternative is an Internet that runs at the government’s pace, where every innovation must be examined, evaluated, and approved by government bureaucrats before reaching the public.

Our Stance

Issues such as network neutrality, excessive telecom taxes, and municipal broadband have been matters of controversy for more than a decade. In recent years, widespread adoption of broadband and the general disruption of the digital economy have raised new policy issues. Governments at all levels are now debating privacy, Internet hate speech, and “sharing economy” services such as Uber and Airbnb, which offer tremendous convenience to consumers yet threaten established local businesses.

Featured Subtopics

City at night with streaks of light
The Internet has thrived due to its open and market-based nature. Imposing a vast new array of government regulations under Title II, like net neutrality, would stifle what has made the Internet one of the biggest growth sectors of the economy. To ensure the growth of our nation’s broadband infrastructure and the growth of the internet economy, any changes to how the internet and broadband is regulated needs to look away from outdated regulatory models and instead focus on policies which do not hinder innovation and growth.
Keyboard with the word privacy on it
Broadband development across the United States has been robust, creating wide internet availability at affordable prices. The market based system does not need reform; government control of the spectrum would undermine what has been a very successful system.
Man holding tablet with wi-fi symbol
Broadband development across the United States has been robust, creating wide internet availability at affordable prices. The market based system does not need reform; government control of the spectrum would undermine what has been a very successful system.

Additional Subtopics

  • Antitrust
  • Broadband
  • Cable
  • Censorship
  • Cloud Computing
  • Copyright
  • Encryption
  • Internet
  • Municipal Overbuild
  • Regulation
  • Security
  • Streaming
  • Taxes
  • Universal Service
  • VOIP
  • Wireless

Videos

Title: Citizens Revolutionary Week Day 2
Description: Jesse Hathaway covers Day Two of Citizens Revolutionary Week in Washington, DC on May 24, 2016. In this video, they cover the left's victory for net neutrality -- aka government control of the Internet and larger digital economy.

Infotech & Telecom Experts Team

The Heartland Institute's experts on information technology and telecommunications issues are available for legislative testimony, speaking engagements, and media interviews.

Staff & Fellows Policy Experts

Steven Titch
Independent Policy Analyst
Steven Titch is a policy analyst focusing on telecommunications, Internet and information technology. He is also a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.