Listed below are links to Titch’s policy studies.

Internet Policy, Regulation and Legislation

Zero Rating in a Competitive Broadband Market

Zero rating—that is, not charging end users for some categories of data use—represents the response of a functioning telecommunications market to consumer demand for broadband content. Unfortunately, not all regulators regard it that way, and it’s proving to be the first casualty of the “Mother, May I?” world of net neutrality regulation.

TV regulation in the age of digital downloads

Today’s video on-demand platforms allow anyone to produce and distribute content. That’s why extending the FCC’s broadcast authority to Internet television should be considered carefully. Old rationales for regulation no longer apply and may be obsolete. If imposed on new models of video entertainment and information, they likely would be counterproductive to the growth and expansion of these new platforms.

Has the NSA poisoned the cloud?

Recent analysis projects the caution and mistrust engendered by the NSA’s programs could cost U.S. technology industry between $35 billion and $180 billion over the next three years. Widespread NSA spying is unsettling because it hits at the current focal point of communications and computer innovation—cloud computing. Effective protection of privacy and security is best managed by regulating the activities of government, as opposed to the utility of Internet services.

Spectrum Policy: Just Do It!

The U.S. wireless industry is being held back by a shortage of spectrum—a problem driven in large part by rapidly increasing demand for mobile data. Consumers are already suffering the impact of spectrum shortages, and the situation is only likely to worsen as wireless data
traffic grows. In this context, the White House, Congress, and the FCC have all acknowledged the wireless spectrum crunch and have prioritized auctions to reallocate spectrum more efficiently. Yet three years after this goal was set in the National Broadband Plan, it is no closer to being achieved.

How the Web Changes Advertising Models

Because Web-based advertising relies heavily on consumer web surfing data, it has raised concerns about personal and consumer privacy. Web-based advertising also threatens established business models of entrenched media businesses, particularly newspapers that serve local markets. These concerns have triggered a reaction in political circles. Agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission historically have been involved in the regulation of media content and advertising. Both agencies, along with allies in Congress, are seeking a role for the government in regulating new media, including advertising.

It’s Not Personal: The Dangers of Misapplied Privacy Policies to Search, Social Media and Other Web Content

Millions of people have come to understand the Internet as a new media platform. For the
government, unfortunately, basic comprehension of the business models and consumer demand that drive this platform remains elusive.
Traffic and usage statistics show the public is enthusiastically embracing the Internet as a two-way information medium. Facebook, the leading social network, says it reached 1 billion members in October 2012. Pinterest, launched in March 2010, has reached 25 million U.S. users.  But while social media and other tools for consumer information-sharing on the World Wide Web speed ahead, lawmakers and regulators are doing everything they can to slow them down.

The Effect of Satellite and Wireless on Rural Universal Service Policy

In 2010, the FCC set out a plan to expand access to high-speed broadband data service. In spite of the technological revolution in telecommunications service in the past decade, the universal service aspects of the plan built upon the existing structures and assumptions underlying the FUSF. This policy brief critically evaluates those universal service elements and offer an alternate solution.

Municipal Broadband

Alternatives to Government Broadband

This paper reviews reasons government broadband largely has failed and why, despite continued cheerleading from some corners, its prospects are worse now than they have ever been. It then looks at some of the major legacy costs and regulations that inhibit the spread of broadband and how cities are beginning to confront them. Finally, it looks at the lessons that can be learned from Google Fiber’s entry into broadband service provision.

Lessons in Municipal Broadband from Lafayette, Louisiana

Government-funded broadband projects, exemplified by the one undertaken in 2005 by Lafayette Utilities Service (LUS), start with a fundamental error: governments believe they are entering a monopoly-based infrastructure business when in reality, they are entering an extremely competitive service business.

This paper examines the challenges and troubles experienced by one of the largest and most publicized municipal broadband projects in the U.S.: the $160-million fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) project launched by Lafayette Utilities Service (LUS) in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Internet Gambling and Online Sports Wagering

Time to End the Madness around March Madness

Legalizing sports betting will increase consumer safety and protect state sovereignty

Game Changer: Rethinking Online Gambling Regulation in the age of Daily Fantasy Sports

The popularity of fantasy sports betting and the
regulatory tangle developing around it demand a
reassessment of gambling regulation in general, and
online gambling regulation in particular.

Internet Gambling: Keys to a Successful Regulatory Climate

Any discussion of gambling sparks controversy from citizenry and special interest groups, which legislators must address. This paper makes the principled case for legalized Internet gambling, and recommends a policy approach that would create win-win-win regulatory environments for consumers, game site operators and state governments.