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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
April 23, 2017
Technology, Sharing, and Regulation
Police in cities where Uber is illegal have tried sting operations to catch drivers, but have been frequently “greyballed,” as reported by the New York Times.
InfoTech & Telecom
April 14, 2017
Why Title II Net Neutrality Directly Conflicts with Consumer Privacy
Net neutrality and consumer privacy are in tension because they are very different concepts, priorities, and approaches for the handling of information online.
More News
InfoTech & Telecom
April 9, 2017
Trump Administration Implications for Google Antitrust in EU, US & Markets
Most of what we have learned in the five months since the election indicates that the Trump Administration is not going to be Google’s antitrust advocate and protector like the Obama Administration effectively was from 2013-2016.
InfoTech & Telecom
April 6, 2017
Congress Was Right to Save Consumers From Privacy Rules Imposed Under Net Neutrality
Congress was right to rescind the Title II broadband privacy order passed by the Federal Communications Commission in October.
InfoTech & Telecom
April 1, 2017
Google Antitrust Implications of Makan Delrahim as DOJ Antitrust Chief
President Trump’s impressive nominee to head the DOJ Antitrust Division, Makan Delrahim, enters the global antitrust stage when one company, America’s Alphabet-Google, has been under near constant antitrust investigation.
 

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.