Economists have long recognized that technological innovation and enhanced communication increase productivity and reduce friction in economic activity. And never before has technology’s impact on economic growth been as evident as it is today.
At IPI, we focus on technology and communications policy not only because it’s critical to economic growth, but also because government’s inherent tendency to regulate prospectively poses an active threat to the economic gains and lifestyle enhancements made possible by technological innovation.
The communications and technology industries are among the country’s most competitive and the biggest capital investors in the U.S. economy, and are thus prime engines of economic growth and job creation. It is critical that public policy encourages continued innovation and investment in the tech sector, and that we don’t limit the innovation upside with counterproductive taxes and regulations.
One year after the FCC’s reversal of the Obama administration’s heavy-handed internet regulations, not only did the sky not fall but investment is up, fiber and wireless are accelerating, and the broadband economy is back on the right track.
Bartlett D. Cleland, research fellow with the Institute for Policy Innovation, said the FCC “needs to establish a continuous supply of spectrum via auctions, on a schedule that will provide a regular flow of low, mid and high bands of spectrum. They must keep unlicensed bands open and available as well.”
The race is on. The option for the U.S. is to either win or fall behind, ceding the future to our global competitors.
During a panel discussion hosted by Consumer Action for a Strong Economy, research group president Tom Giovanetti said there’s no conflict between asking the FCC to limit local cable regulators’ authority and advocating for smaller government.
In light of the significant transformations in the children’s video programming marketplace in the decades since the Commission adopted many of the KidVid rules, we believe firmly that this is an area ripe for reform and deregulation.
Proposed legislation in Georgia would expand broadband access by allowing electric co-ops to enter the broadband market. It also properly includes the necessary protections to ensure competition, such as barring the new co-op broadband entrants from charging exorbitant fees to their competitors for utility pole attachment.
The FCC is proposing to reaffirm its cable franchising rules, which are needed to limit local governments' efforts to increase their reach, regulations and fees (i.e., taxes).
Innovation continues to outpace government, especially the capacity of legislatures to design sound policy frameworks. The danger is that poor policy will hamper the rollout of smart technology.
Congress needs to create a clear standard that defines physical presence and other key terms, and protects small and modest-sized sellers from the burdens of onerous multi-state audits.