Stupid & Smart


Thinking deregulation will spur much investment. 20 years of dereg has already killed most rules that held things back, so this can’t do much.

Spectrum monopolies beyond the minimum. Obsolete with today’s tech, which allows sharing most spectrum. Telcos may need some for emergency services and for anchoring what’s shared.

Supporting “incentives” for investment without clear evidence they will work. The policy goal is results, not the “incentives” themselves. Most of the time, proposed “incentives” simply go to increased profits,not more investment.

Ignoring company short time horizon. Extending EU spectrum licenses to 25 years will have little impact today. 


Sharing spectrum in all bands. 

Rules needed to make markets work or have important purposes. Protecting competition, good consumer information, reducing spectrum waste, universal service

Outreach to reduce fraud, especially in universalservice. Whistleblower instructions on home page, etc.

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GGW Good Government Work



Kurth: In spectrum auction, requiring bidders to serve “white spaces on the map” first

Telcos, spending their own money, deployed to the hardest to reach areas for remarkably little. WIK estimated that they barely reduced their bids for the spectrum. Most universal service subsidies are much too high because the government doesn’t have the data to set them accurately and few regulators have the courage to resist telco demands.

The current U.S. CAF II is currently paying telcos about twice what is required, per the cost data developed for the broadband plan. The CEOs of the telcos are telling Wall Street they are seeing substantial cash flow now because CAF is paying above their actual costs. They expect net income from the deployment to be substantial, as the open costs are low once the network is built. (To a large company, opex for broadband is $4-$8/month. Telephony is even cheaper; Skype out charges $2.95 for unlimited calls and I believe is profitable.)

Kenya, Rwanda, and Mexico creating large spectrum blocks for LTE capacity

The quality of the Internet is severely limited LTE is designed for 100 MHz of contiguous spectrum, not the scattered 20 MHz and smaller blocks of most countries. I’d estimate that you more than double the capacity/effective spectrum with a single 100 MHz block compared to 5 carriers getting 20 MHz each. My estimate is informed by Gabrielle Gauthey, then of Alcatel, but I haven’t seen a strong engineering study.

Simply eliminating the guard bands helps, but the primary improvement comes from the sharing of the network. In



Serious Censorship: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter collaborate on better tools

Most Americans and Europeans will support “Terrorist” censorship. The U.S. giants are under pressure from Germany’s Chancellor Merkel and soon probably President Trump to effectively censor the net. They’ve come together to create a database of hashtags that can reliably detect repostings in today’s systems. They can be worked around with a little work, but many posters are too lazy to do so or don’t have the expertise. Details in the Facebook post below.

Hillary Clinton is an example of the many “liberals” who have joined “conservatives” calling for limits on speech for those labeled “terrorists.” Unfortunately, no one can agree on who is a “terrorist.” The Turkish government labels some Kurdish groups “terrorists” while the United States sends arms to their close allies in Syria and Iraq. The term has become almost meaningless. The U.S. free speech standard – that almost everything is protected except an immediate call to violence – seems better to me. (“Clear and present danger.”) 

I doubt more than 10% of people in Europe and the United States are near-absolutist in a free speech debate. One reason I do is I have a clear perception of the slippery slope.

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