Networks, the Internet, and Cloud Computing

Networks and Infrastructure

Although “the Internet” seems ethereal, it is in fact a network of networks that connects billions of users around the world. The capabilities of the Internet are dependent on the reach of those networks. Many governments worldwide are considering how to effectively and efficiently make robust networks available to their citizens to enable them to access the Internet.

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Stanford scholar Gregory Rosston, an expert on competition in local telecommunications, auctions, and spectrum policy, released a paper earlier this year that examines the supply of wireless spectrum capacity. In addition, “Increasing Wireless Value: Technology, Spectrum, and Incentives” proposes ways for the government to promote spectrum efficiency.
During the May 9 State of the Mobile Net panel, “Mobile Location: The Policies of Where,” expert panelists discussed the potential advantages and pitfalls of mobile phone location services as related to privacy issues and how these issues are affecting consumers and Congressional decisions.
In his article for The New Yorker, Columbia University law professor Tim Wu discusses the current state of the net neutrality rules. In “The Coming War Over Net Neutrality,” Professor Wu states that the net neutrality rules are “a pricing truce for the Internet.”
“The Economics of Network Neutrality,” by Nicholas Economides and Benjamin Hermalin, discusses the private and social benefits of allowing Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as the telephone or cable companies, to charge content and application providers (e.g. Disney, Google, Microsoft, Netflix) for access to the ISPs’ residential customers.
During last week’s 9th Annual State of the Net Conference, one of the panels tackled the question, should Congress rewrite the Telecom Act? TAP Scholar Christopher Yoo, University of Pennsylvania Law School, was among the panelists.
In September, Silicon Flatirons held a conference to look at The Changing Dynamics of Video Programming. This conference summary, provided by Laura Littman and Stephanie Minnock, details the participants’ exploration of the changing economics, programming, and technology related to this dynamic market.
The FCC is set to consider two apparently forthcoming Notices of Proposed Rulemaking that will shape the mobile broadband sector for years to come. It’s not hyperbole to say that the FCC’s approach to the two issues at hand — the design of spectrum auctions and the definition of the FCC’s spectrum screen — can make or break wireless broadband in this country.
Barbara van Schewick’s book, “Internet Architecture and Innovation,” recently released in paperback, has come to be recognized as an essential work on the policy of network neutrality. Given the net neutrality issues in the news lately, the information in this book is as relevant now as when it was originally published two years ago.
Jonathan Zittrain says our phones are basically two-way radios in his discussion with John Moe about mesh networks. In the America Public Media’s Marketplace story, Professor Zittrain of Harvard University suggests “we could use those radios to talk to one another.”
Recognizing that consumer information is the currency of the web, both sides of Congress have recently held hearings to work toward an understanding of how to balance the needs of businesses for user data and the needs of consumers to have some control over their personal online information. TAP scholars James Grimmelmann, New York Law School, and Professor Peter Swire, Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law, were witnesses.
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Fact Sheets

Wireless and Mobile Communications

Wireless or “mobile” devices send information one-to-one (like mobile phones), one-to-many (like AM or FM radio), or many-to-many (like Wi-Fi Internet access). Wireless devices send and receive signals along the electromagnetic spectrum in the form of waves similar to visible light or sound.


HBO Max Viewing Will Start Counting Against AT&T Data Limits

“People should be free to choose which videos they want to watch -- whether that’s Netflix, Twitch or their local church’s Sunday service -- without the company they pay to get online trying to influence their choices.”  — Barbara van Schewick, Professor of Law, Stanford University
Barbara van Schewick
March 17, 2021

Featured Article

Reclaiming Spectrum from Incumbents in Inefficiently Allocated Bands: Transaction Costs, Competition, and Flexibility

Some electromagnetic spectrum is used inefficiently. In reclaiming this spectrum for allocation to more efficient uses and users, the FCC may choose between a simple overlay auction and a more complex two-sided auction.

By: Gregory L. Rosston, Andrzej (Andy) Skrzypacz