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April 2005

  • "Wireless," Communications Daily, April 29, 2005.
    "The FCC should ensure that spectrum already allocated to public safety is used efficiently before dedicating more to that purpose, Progress & Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow Tom Lenard told the Commission in comments. 'More than 97 MHz of spectrum is allocated for public safety communication, including 24 MHz in the 700 MHz band occupied by broadcasters pending resolution of the DTV transition,' Lenard said, suggesting that more spectrum doesn't guarantee better service. 'Given the large amount of spectrum already allocated to public safety agencies and its high opportunity cost, an extra dollar spent on other inputs, including new equipment and additional public safety personnel, is likely to yield far more in terms of improving the emergency response effort than an extra dollar's worth of spectrum,' he said."
  • "World IP Day Intensifies Call for Protections, Reform," Washington Internet Daily , April 27, 2005.
    "Progress & Freedom Foundation senior fellow Jim DeLong said the attention given to ease of IP transmission and the need to provide incentives for IP creation are fueling the debate. The MGM v. Grokste r case, argued last month before the Supreme Court (WID March 30 p1), is a prime example, he said. Questions remain about how stakeholders are going to 'work out the tension' in a fight that is becoming increasingly complex. Flash points include how far and how long IP protections should extend and how patents on IP are fundamentally defined, he said. 'You have this international community that doesn't understand it and sees it as another imperialist trick,' DeLong said."
  • "PFF Fellow Cautions FCC On Merger Decisions," Telecom Web, April 27, 2005.
    "In a letter yesterday to new FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and his fellow commissioners, Progress & Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow Randolph J. May wrote that the FCC 'should largely defer to the Justice Department or the FTC in analyzing competitive aspects of mergers.' May added the agency should not impose so-called 'voluntary' conditions on merger participants that often are unrelated to statutory or regulatory obligations."
  • "PFF: Chinese Telecom Policy Inhibits Growth," TR Daily, April 25, 2005.
    "The potential for tremendous growth in the telecom sector in China could be stymied if 'misguided' government policies aren't reformed, according to a new report from the Progress & Freedom Foundation. The Ministry of Information Industry (MII) is the 'main impediment' to the reform of telecom policy in China, PFF said. Despite its obligations under the World Trade Organization Basic Telecommunications Agreement, the ministry has not separated its regulatory functions from its role as chief administrator of China Telecom."
  • "Cable TV Could Get Its Mouth Washed Out," Business Week Online, April 22, 2005.
    "Despite the protests of Schwartzman and other free-speech advocates who argue that the cable biz should enjoy greater First Amendment safeguards than broadcasters that use public airwaves, cable -- and even satellite TV and radio -- could become subject to the government's indecency rules. 'It absolutely will happen; it's only a question of when,' says Adam D. Thierer, a senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation."
  • "Bells' Fiber Plans Spark Political Flame War," CNET, April 20, 2005.
    "A broader question is whether Congress will dictate TV-over-fiber rules through legislative fiat, or whether the companies involved will be left to negotiate their own arrangements. 'All of these guys are big boys and can work out these deals among themselves,' said Adam Thierer, an analyst at the free-market Progress and Freedom Foundation. 'We don't need government to come in and broker contracts.'"
  • "Analysis: Some Say ICANN TOO Heavy-Handed," United Press International, April 19, 2005.
    "'The concern was not to have ICANN become a regulatory agency or have authority to pre-approve some of these services that companies want to offer,' Tom Lenard, vice president of research at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, told United Press International."
  • "Report: Philly's Wireless Plan Flawed," Philadelphia Enquirer, April 12, 2005.
    "The city's financial projections 'are simply not plausible,' said Thomas Lenard, a senior fellow at the foundation."
    "He said the business plan 'dramatically' underestimated costs and risks, and overestimated demand for the municipal service. If the plan was viable, private firms would already be doing it, he said. "
  • "Tex. House Passes Telecom Dereg Bill With Municipal Wi-Fi Ban," State Telephone Regulation Report, April 8, 2005.
    "One opponent of municipal Wi-Fi networks stopped short of applauding the bill's passage. Progress & Freedom Foundation fellow Thomas Lenard, a strong private- sector network supporter, said, 'If it's so great the private sector should be anxious to do it.' He was referring to Philadelphia, Pa.'s claim that its Wi-Fi network can generate a surplus by undercutting the competition, using the surplus to bridge the digital divide. But Lenard disagreed that a state should ban municipal economic projects, as in Tex. 'if they don't have negative externalities for the rest of the state, and I don't know that this does... If the citizens of a city want to do something, even if it's a stupid idea, they should be allowed to do so.'"
  • "Congress Considers Music File Standard," E-Commerce Times, April 7, 2005.
    "'Any call for the government to prefer one standard or model over another must be subject to most exacting skepticism,' Gifford commented. 'Standards are hard. Interoperability is a good thing, but not an absolutely good thing. Consumers' tastes, for the most part, will drive toward interoperable platforms, but not necessarily ... From Congress' point of view, the best course would be to resist calls for mandates or technology limitations in this dynamic space.'"
  • "The Storms Caused by the Sunshine Act," Financial Times, April 7, 2005.
    "All in all, it is difficult to believe that such a dysfunctional process does much for open government. As Randolph May, a senior fellow of the Progress and Freedom Foundation and a long-time critic of the Sunshine Act, says: 'The principal and demonstrable effect of the Act has been to inhibit collegial discussions, which goes against the original idea of multi-member agencies.'"
  • "Napster Steps in to Fight,", April 7, 2005.
    "Raymond Gifford, president of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, agreed: 'Are open standards preferable? In some cases, yes; in others, no - you are making a trade-off. Are proprietary or non-proprietary standards going to give the greatest amount of innovation? We cannot be sure... For public policy, all this should inspire a great deal of caution for mandating any given outcome or specific standard.'"
    "Gifford added: 'Much of the brow-furrowing over interoperability in digital music stems from the success of Apple's iPod platform. I urge this subcommittee not to give in to the politics of platform envy, however.'"
  • "House CCIP Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Digital Music Interoperability," Tech Law Journal , April 6, 2005.
    "Ray Gifford, President of the Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF), wrote in his prepared testimony that 'Standards and interoperability can be achieved through a variety of institutions: within single firms, within private consortia, with government blessing and with government mandate. Standards can be open and non-propriety, or closed and proprietary, and gradations in between these extremes. In digital music markets we see all of these models, to varying degrees.'"
  • "Rep. Upton Envisions A Telecom Rewrite By Year's End," TechDaily, April 6, 2005.
    "Randolph May , a senior fellow and director of communications policy studies at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, called that model flawed. 'People cannot agree where you draw the lines and distinctions of the layers,' he said, noting that there are at least seven different models but that any policy framework should be enduring."
    "Instead, May advocated a market-based system of competition. 'Let's get away from definitions that are based on these types of techno-functional types,' he urged. The overarching question should be if there is competition in the marketplace, then 'what type of regulations would be appropriate,' he said."


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