June 19, 2017

Brent Skorup Comments on Tech CEOs at the White House

Brent Skorup

Senior Research Fellow

This week is Technology Week and tech CEOs are meeting President Trump and his advisers at the White House. In addition to modernizing federal IT systems, hopefully areas of discussion will include radio spectrum policy and Internet deregulation.

America’s future technologies are mobile—including improved smartphones, driverless cars, drone delivery, and augmented reality—and require more radio spectrum. Federal agencies possess about 50% of the most valuable spectrum and the Trump White House should continue to incentivize agencies to minimize their spectrum footprint and sell spectrum to innovative tech companies.

The White House should reaffirm then-candidate Trump’s opposition to Obama administration’s decision to regulate the Internet. The Federal Communication Commission in 2015 decided to regulate online services with a vague “general conduct” standard that simply invites abuse by special interests and regulators. Hopefully the White House will reiterate to the tech CEOs the free-market principle codified by President Bill Clinton and Congress twenty years ago, that it is US policy that the Internet and Internet access should be “unfettered by Federal or State regulation.”

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