Why we can have both reliable GPS and more broadband

A major radio spectrum problem before the Federal Communications Commission this year is the dispute between the GPS community and a company called LightSquared, which seeks to operate a new mobile broadband service using terrestrial base stations that will compete with existing cellular carriers.

Depending on your viewpoint, this dispute is either an attempt by greedy entrepreneurs to wreck the ubiquitous GPS system, endangering public safety or a spectrum fight between users of neighboring bands in which one group wants to solve a technical problem by putting all the burdens of the solution on the other.


Radio's future is getting paid and paying for music

Last fall, radio broadcasters slyly avoided bipartisan legislation requiring radio stations to pay for the music they used by seeking a mandate on FM tuners and antennas in all cell phones. While not one member of Congress supported the silly idea, the resulting confusion and pending congressional business left the performance royalty legislation for the next Congress. This Congress, two legislators have begun the effort to right the wrongful harm to the music industry.
Last week, Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Calif.), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Anna Eshoo, (D-Calif.), a member of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, introduced a resolution titled the “Creativity and Innovation Resolution.” The Issa-Eshoo resolution protects “creativity and innovation” across two fronts: first, by urging broadcasters to begin paying royalties to recording studios and artists. And second, by opposing efforts to mandate FM tuners in cell phones.


Inspiring consumer confidence through data privacy legislation

Today, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011, which is a necessary step to building a foundation of confidence for individuals that their privacy will be protected. Intel believes that federal privacy legislation is essential to individuals’ continued use of and trust in technology, and urges Congress to begin discussion of the bill, so we can establish such a framework of trust.

At Intel, we consistently hear that one of the barriers for individuals using new technology is the concern that their personal privacy will not be protected. Our business thrives when consumers use technology in new ways to tackle the world’s big issues, such as education, healthcare and the environment. We thus believe that putting in place a legal and regulatory system that provides for strong privacy protections is key to the growth of our business. 


FCC’s overreaching power grab harms innovation, investments and jobs

The Internet’s innovation and success is unmatched and since its inception, it has thrived without government interference. The Federal Communications Commission nonetheless ruled in December to impose Internet regulations, even though Congress has never authorized it to do so. There is also no crisis warranting such intervention.

The Energy and Commerce Committee has repeatedly asked the FCC to provide an economic and market analysis to demonstrate its rules are warranted and would not cause harm to the currently open and thriving Internet. The FCC’s response was lacking. Rather than show an actual problem to support its brazen power-grab, the FCC relied on speculation of future harm.


Can creators call 911?

Parasitic innovation online by rogue websites is beginning to abate after a decade of civil litigation. 

Parasitic innovation—the science of innovative free riding—not only harms the innovators whose works are being ripped off, it also harms the economy as a whole. 

Many rogue sites are among the top websites in the world, some are in the top 100 on Alexa. Rogue sites prey upon consumers who usually don’t know they are being sold counterfeit pharmaceuticals, fake consumer goods, or illegal copies of music and movies.


Smart Communities can strengthen America's economy

America is poised to power forward out of the recession and into the new, 21st Century economy. But congestion on our roads and highways is a drag on economic growth, interfering with our daily activities, slowing the flow of goods and services, polluting the environment and wasting fuel. It’s an increasingly expensive problem, costing our economy more than $115 billion every year.

To address the issue, we have introduced the SMART Technologies for Communities Act. This bipartisan legislation provides communities with the resources necessary to implement intelligent transportation systems (ITS) that will help to reduce congestion, improve safety and improve the air we breathe by reducing air pollution. 


Science ÷ politics = a loss for everyone

Scientific research, including climate science, has the potential to be a game changer for America’s global competitiveness, national security and public health and safety. But, when we pit political strategy against scientific integrity, we not only risk the legitimacy of the science and the strength of the policy, we also limit their potential to protect and enhance the public good.

As John Adams once said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” 


Kyl should reconsider opposition to nuclear test ban

Much has changed since the Senate rejected the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1999. But Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) still opposes a ban on testing. On Tuesday, Kyl went so far as to tell an audience at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, “Today there is even less reason to support the CTBT than 11 years ago when it was roundly defeated.”
However, Kyl’s backing arguments fell flat. A careful look at the test ban shows that ratification is clearly in U.S. national security interests now more than ever before.


Keep calm and carry on with nuclear energy

While many are taking measured responses to the recent events in Japan, there has been one predictable exception. 

Members of the anti-nuclear community and their supporters in Congress have taken to the media to demand that some or all of our nation’s 104 nuclear power plants be shut down and construction of new nuclear power plants be stopped.   

As I listened to some of their arguments, I had a déjà vu moment, remembering several of these same arguments from many of the same individuals immediately after the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.


AT&T: 1, Consumers: 0

The bottom line of AT&T's proposed $39 billion takeover of competitor wireless company T-Mobile is pretty simple. AT&T wins. Everyone else loses, particularly those who will lose their jobs as a result. Mergers are job killers, and this one will be no different.

AT&T, of course, won't tell you that. They will crow about “efficiencies” and helping to fulfill the Obama Administration's broadband goals and, not incidentally, about all the extra revenue per user that the new combined company will rake in over the next few years. These are the kinds of arguments that proponents of mergers usually make.

This deal is different.