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This event is sponsored by AEI’s new Center on Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy.



Event Summary

AEI’s newly launched Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy strives to advance policies that encourage innovation, competition, liberty, and growth. On Tuesday morning, AEI hosted technology experts for a conference on regulation, broadband growth, and the economy. Jason Furman of the Council of Economic Advisers began by explaining the catalytic role of the government in driving technological innovation. Christopher Yoo of the University of Pennsylvania Law School continued by describing the stifling effects of regulatory interference on broadband innovation.

Robert Shapiro of Sonecon LLC extended Yoo’s argument to incorporate the effects on labor dynamics and consumer prices. Entropy Economics LLC’s Bret Swanson concluded the first panel by explaining broadband technology’s potential for healing sluggish sectors of the US economy.

While noting the unprecedented innovations in broadband technology, Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) contended that a deregulated environment is essential for technological progression. In the second panel, Robert McDowell of the Hudson Institute, Larry Irving of the Irving Group, and Preston Padden of the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition collectively emphasized the importance of keeping spectrum auctions simple, of treating all bidders equally, of finding incentives to attract broadcasters, and of conducting an audit on the federal government’s spectrum use.
–Deepika Bhargo

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event and participate live in the discussion on this page — no log-in necessary — or at #SpectrumPolicy on Twitter. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

Event Description

The rapid pace of innovation and investment in broadband Internet services has been a major bright spot in the US economy, contributing disproportionately to growth and productivity. This event will explore the relationship between broadband performance and US economic performance and will address one of the most important broadband policy issues today: how to make more spectrum available to accommodate the explosive growth of mobile broadband services.

Keynote addresses by Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman and Representative Greg Walden (R-OR), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, will be accompanied by two panel discussions, one focusing on the nexus between regulation, broadband growth, and the economy and the second focusing on key issues in spectrum policy.

Follow the conversation on Twitter with #SpectrumPolicy and follow @AEITech to stay up-to-date with the latest news from the Center on Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy.



8:30 AM
Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:45 AM
Jeffrey Eisenach, AEI

9:00 AM
Keynote Address:
Jason Furman, Council of Economic Advisers

9:30 AM
Panel I: Regulation, broadband growth, and the economy
Robert Shapiro, Sonecon LLC
Bret Swanson, Entropy Economics LLC
Christopher S. Yoo, University of Pennsylvania

Kevin A. Hassett, AEI

10:30 AM
Keynote Address:
Greg Walden, US House of Representatives (R-OR)

11:00 AM
Panel II: How to make spectrum more available
Larry Irving, Irving Group
Robert McDowell, Hudson Institute
Preston Padden, Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition

James K. Glassman, AEI

12:00 PM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Brittany Pineros at [email protected], 202.862.5926.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Jeffrey Eisenach is a visiting scholar at AEI. Eisenach has served in senior positions at the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of Management and Budget. At AEI, he focuses on policies affecting the information technology sector, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Eisenach is also a managing director and principal at Navigant Economics and an adjunct professor at the George Mason University School of Law, where he teaches Regulated Industries. He writes on a wide range of issues, including industrial organization, communications policy and the Internet, government regulations, labor economics, and public finance. He has also taught at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

Jason Furman is the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Before this role, he served as principal deputy director of the National Economic Council. From 2007 to 2008, Furman was a senior fellow in economic studies and director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. Previously, he served as a staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers, a special assistant to the president for economic policy at the National Economic Council under Clinton, and senior adviser to the chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank. Furman was the economic policy director for Obama for America. He has also served as visiting scholar at New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a visiting lecturer at Yale and Columbia Universities, and a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He has conducted research in a wide range of areas, including fiscal policy, tax policy, health economics, Social Security, and monetary policy. In addition to numerous articles in scholarly journals and periodicals, Furman is the editor of several books on economic policy, including “Path to Prosperity: Hamilton Project Ideas on Income Security, Education, and Taxes” (Brookings Institution Press, 2008) and “Who Has the Cure: Hamilton Project Ideas on Health Care” (Brookings Institution Press, 2008).

James K. Glassman is a visiting fellow at AEI, where he works on Internet and communications policy in the new AEI Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy. Glassman rejoined AEI in August after having served as under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, during which time he led America’s public diplomacy outreach and inaugurated the use of new Internet technology in these efforts, an approach he christened “public diplomacy 2.0.” He was also chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent federal agency that oversees all US government nonmilitary international broadcasting. Most recently, Glassman was instrumental in the creation of the George W. Bush Institute, where he remains the founding executive director. Before his government service, Glassman was a senior fellow at AEI, where he specialized in economics and technology and founded The American, AEI’s magazine. In addition to his government service, Glassman was a former president of The Atlantic, publisher of The New Republic, executive vice president of US News & World Report, and editor-in-chief and co-owner of Roll Call.

Kevin A. Hassett is the director of economic policy studies and a senior fellow at AEI. Before joining AEI, he was a senior economist on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, an associate professor of economics and finance at Columbia Business School, and a policy consultant to the US Department of the Treasury during the George H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations. He served as an economic adviser during the George W. Bush 2004 presidential campaign, as chief economic adviser to Senator John McCain during the 2000 presidential primaries, and as senior economic adviser during the McCain 2008 presidential campaign. Hassett also writes a column for National Review.

Larry Irving is the president and CEO of the Irving Group, a consulting firm providing strategic advice and assistance to international telecommunications and information technology companies, foundations, and nonprofit organizations. From September 2009 to July 2011, Irving served as vice president for global government affairs for the Hewlett-Packard Company. Before founding the Irving Group in 1999, Irving served for almost seven years as assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information and administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, where he was a principal adviser to the president, vice president, and secretary of commerce on domestic and international telecommunications and information technology issues. Irving was one of the principal architects and advocates of the Clinton administration’s telecommunications and Internet policies and was a point person in the Clinton administration’s successful efforts to reform US telecommunications laws.

Robert McDowell
is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute and was a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2006 to 2013. Before his FCC confirmation, he was senior vice president and assistant general counsel of Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel), an industry trade group of competitive telephone companies. Before joining CompTel in February 1999, McDowell served as the executive vice president and general counsel of America’s Carriers Telecommunications Association.

Preston Padden is the executive director of the Expanding Opportunities for Broadcasters Coalition and serves on the advisory board of Grotch Ventures, a private equity investment firm. From 2010 to 2013, he served as an adjunct professor of communications law at the University Of Colorado School Of Law and as a senior fellow at the Law School’s Silicon Flatirons Center. Padden has spent a 38-year career in the media business, holding positions as the assistant general counsel at Metromedia; president of the Association of Independent Television Stations; president of Network Distribution, Fox Broadcasting Company; chairman and CEO of American Sky Broadcasting; president of ABC Television Network; and executive vice president of government relations for the Walt Disney Company, a position that he held for more than a decade. Padden worked directly for leading industry CEOs including Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, Michael Eisner and Bob Iger.

Robert Shapiro is a cofounder and chairman of Sonecon LLC. He is also a senior fellow of the Georgetown University School of Business, adviser to the International Monetary Fund, director of the Globalization Center at NDN, chairman of the US Climate Task Force, and cochair of America Task Force Argentina. From 1997 to 2001, Shapiro was US under secretary of commerce for economic affairs. In that position, he directed economic policy for the US Department of Commerce and oversaw the nation’s major statistical agencies, including the Census Bureau while it planned and carried out the 2000 decennial census. Before that appointment, he was cofounder and vice president of the Progressive Policy Institute. He also served as principal economic adviser to Bill Clinton in his 1991 to 1992 presidential campaign and as senior economic adviser to Al Gore and John Kerry in their presidential campaigns. In 2008 and 2012, he advised the campaigns and transition of Barack Obama.

Bret Swanson is president of Entropy Economics LLC, a strategic research firm specializing in technology, innovation, and the global economy. He advises investors and technology companies, focusing on the Internet ecosystem and the broadband networks and applications that drive it. Swanson is also a scholar at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, where, since 2005, his research has centered on economic growth and policies that encourage it. For eight years Swanson advised technology investors as executive editor of the Gilder Technology Report and later was a senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, where he directed the Center for Global Innovation. Swanson began his career as an aide to former senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) and was then an economic analyst for former representative Jack Kemp (R-NY) at Empower America.

Greg Walden is the US Representative for Oregon’s second congressional district, serving since 1999, and the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Walden served as press secretary and chief of staff to Congressman Denny Smith from 1981 to 1987. He was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1988 and served in the House until 1995, when he was appointed to the Oregon State Senate to fill a vacancy. Walden rose to the position of assistant majority leader in the Oregon Senate. In 1998, he won the Republican primary for Oregon’s second congressional district House seat, won the general election in November, and has been reelected five times.

Christopher S. Yoo is a professor of law, communications, and computer and information science at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and founding director of its Center for Technology, Innovation, and Competition. He has emerged as one of the nation’s leading authorities on law and technology. His research focuses on how the principles of network engineering and the economics of imperfect competition can provide insight into the regulation of electronic communications. He has been a leading voice in the network neutrality debate that has dominated Internet policy over the past several years. He is also pursuing research on copyright theory and the history of presidential power. He is the author of “The Dynamic Internet: How Technology, Users, and Businesses Are Transforming the Network (AEI Press, 2012).” Yoo testifies frequently before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission.

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