Networks and Infrastructure


Wireless networks allow users to access telecommunications and the Internet while on the move. The wireless devices operate on the electromagnetic spectrum, which is a finite resource. The allocation and assignment of spectrum, particularly given the burgeoning demand for wireless access to the Internet, poses a unique set of policy decisions for regulators worldwide.

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TAP Blog

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.
Professor Lorrie Faith Cranor participated in the Mobile Privacy Disclosures panel during the FTC’s Advertising & Privacy Disclosures workshop. This post provides key take-aways from the panel discussion.
Tomorrow, the Federal Trade Commission will host a day-long public workshop to consider the need for new guidance concerning advertising and privacy disclosures in today's online and mobile environments. “In Short – Advertising & Privacy Disclosures in a Digital World” will address disclosure challenges including making clear and conspicuous disclosures in social media and mobile marketing. Professor Lorrie Faith Cranor will participate in the panel on Mobile Privacy Disclosures.
TAP attended the State of the Mobile Net Conference earlier this month and reports on the panel that examined the U.S. v. Jones ruling as it pertains to location-based tracking with mobile devices.
The State of the Mobile Net Conference was held early this month to discuss the most pertinent issues impacting the mobile net. TAP attended and provides a report on the mobile privacy panel called, “Complex Devices/Complex Privacy Questions: Grappling with Privacy in the Mobile Space”
In April, the NYU School of Law hosted the NYU/Princeton Conference on Mobile and Location Privacy, titled “A Technology and Policy Dialog.” Edward Felten, the Federal Trade Commission's chief technologist, gave the keynote address.
The technology to pay for a latte with the tap of smartphone is here. Smartphone manufacturers, mobile network operators, credit card companies, application developers, as well as companies involved in location-based advertising are all vying for a piece of the mobile wallet action.
The Federal Communications Commission faces an uphill battle in its efforts to repurpose spectrum for the mobile market. Spectrum is scarce and needs to be used most efficiently, but that’s easier said than done. In his new paper, “Holdout in the Assembly of Complements: A Problem for Market Design,” E. Glen Weyl, University of Chicago, along with his colleague Scott Duke Kominers, delves into the issues involved with repurposing spectrum, and offers thoughts on a solution.
Professor Barbara van Schewick examines the news that Verizon Wireless’ new Galaxy Nexus phone will not support Google Wallet. She discusses the impact of this action on Verizon customers, competition in the emerging mobile payment technologies, and innovation in mobile technologies. She also provides insight to her letter to the FCC asking the Commission to investigate this situation given that Verizon’s conduct undermines the Commission’s general approach towards mobile Internet openness.
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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.


Contact Tracing – The Privacy Vs Urgency Dilemma for Governments in the Fight Against COVID-19

“Either you have a system unlikely to help people navigate their world, to leave their house and feel safe, or you have privacy trade-offs.”
 — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington
M. Ryan Calo
South China Morning Post
June 4, 2020

Featured Article

Using Spectrum Auctions to Enhance Competition in Wireless Services

This paper looks at how regulators can support more competition between different wireless services.

By: Gregory L. Rosston, Peter Cramton, Evan Kwerel, Andrzej (Andy) Skrzypacz