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

The explosion in demand for mobile and wireless devices like tablets and smartphones is driving policymakers to consider how to make more spectrum available for the growing array of wireless services. This development raises challenging spectrum policy questions. In “The Case for Unlicensed Spectrum,” Jonathan Levin and co-authors Assaf Eilat and Paul Milgrom examine the benefits of unlicensed radio spectrum.
The explosion in demand for mobile and wireless devices like tablets and smartphones is driving policymakers to consider how to make more spectrum available for the growing array of wireless services. The spectrum used by wireless devices area is one portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. In 2011, policymakers will consider a number of proposals to reform the way that the increasingly crowded spectrum is managed.
On May 26, 2011, the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee (ICAC) hosted the 3rd Annual State of the Mobile Net Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference focused on how to make the Internet more mobile, touching on privacy, innovation, competition and spectrum issues.
Deirdre Mulligan and Nick Doty discuss April's W3C Web Tracking and User Privacy workshop and other ongoing efforts to define, regulate, and implement a privacy system that addresses the concerns with online tracking and smartphone privacy.
Summary of the testimony from Google’s Director of Public Policy, Apple’s VP of Software Technology, the Director of the Consumer Privacy Center for Democracy & Technology, the President of the Association for Competitive Technology, and an independent privacy researcher at the “Protecting Mobile Privacy” hearing.
Summary of the testimony from Jessica Rich of the Federal Trade Commission and Jason Weinstein from the Department of Justice at the “Protecting Mobile Privacy” hearing.
Key take-aways from Greg Rosston’s brief on the AT&T proposed acquisition of T-Mobile.
As part of the ongoing online privacy deliberations, the issues surrounding online tracking and mobile privacy have been spurring a lot of debate. Additionally, the recent reports on smart phone data tracking have intensified concerns over privacy and the widening trade in personal data. In this post, TAP highlights recent scholar involvement in the discussions, and outlines key congressional hearings and recent news stories on the data tracking and mobile issues.
Since the explosive growth of wireless services and technologies began with cellular telephone service in the 1970s, the Federal Communications Commission has been busy with wireless regulatory matters, from auctions to the “white space.” As the agency welcomes 2011, several developments are expected to affect wireless in the near future, from Internet access to broadcasting.
Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard Law School, discusses the recent exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on NPR’s “On the Media.” Excerpts and link to the show’s segment available.
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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

On the Application of Blockchains to Spectrum Management

Blockchain technologies could help operators and users of the electromagnetic spectrum coordinate their activities. Challenges include device power limitations and blockchain system capacity constraints.

By: Kevin Werbach