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MEASURING AND SUSTAINING THE NEW ECONOMY THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS CHALLENGE CHANGING TECHNOLOGIES AND EVOLVING POLICIES Report of a Symposium Committee on The Telecommunications Challenge: Changing Technologies and Evolving Policies Committee on Measuring and Sustaining the New Economy Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy Policy and Global Affairs Charles W. Wessner, Editor THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by: Contract/Grant No. CMRC-50SBNB9C1080 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Commerce; Contract/Grant No. NASW-99037, Task Order 103, between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Contract/Grant No. CMRC- SB134105C0038 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Commerce; OFED-13416 between the National Academy of Sciences and Sandia National Laboratories; Contract/Grant No. N00014-00-G-0230, DO #23, between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of the Navy; Contract/Grant No. NSF-EIA- 0119063 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation; and Contract/Grant No. DOE-DE-FG02-01ER30315 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Energy. Additional support was provided by Intel Corporation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the orga- nizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-10087-9 (Book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-65628-1 (PDF) Limited copies are available from Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., W547, Washington, DC 20001; 202-334-2200. Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achieve- ments of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the respon- sibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org

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Committee on The Telecommunications Challenge: Changing Technologies and Evolving Policies* William J. Raduchel, Chair Cherry A. Murray Chairman and CEO Deputy Director for Science and Ruckus Network Technology Lawrence Livermore National Mark E. Doms Laboratory Senior Economist Federal Reserve Bank of Mark B. Myers San Francisco Visiting Executive Professor of Management Kenneth Flamm The Wharton School Dean Rusk Chair in International University of Pennsylvania Affairs LBJ School of Public Affairs Michael R. Nelson University of Texas at Austin Director of Internet Technology and Strategy Dale W. Jorgenson International Business Machines Samuel W. Morris University Professor Harvard University William J. Spencer Chairman Emeritus, retired International SEMATECH *As of November 2004. v

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Committee on Measuring and Sustaining the New Economy* Dale Jorgenson, Chair William J. Spencer, Vice Chair Samuel W. Morris University Professor Chairman Emeritus, retired Harvard University International SEMATECH M. Kathy Behrens Mark B. Myers Managing Director of Medical Visiting Executive Professor of Technology Management Robertson Stephens Investment The Wharton School Management University of Pennsylvania Kenneth Flamm Roger Noll Dean Rusk Chair in International Morris M. Doyle Affairs Centennial Professor of Economics LBJ School of Public Affairs Stanford University University of Texas at Austin Edward E. Penhoet Bronwyn Hall Chief Program Officer Professor of Economics Science and Higher Education Programs University of California at Berkeley Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation James Heckman William Raduchel Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Chairman and CEO Professor of Economics Ruckus Network University of Chicago Alan Wm. Wolff Richard Levin Managing Partner President Dewey Ballantine Yale University David T. Morgenthaler Founding Partner Morgenthaler Ventures *As of November 2004. vi

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Project Staff* Charles W. Wessner McAlister T. Clabaugh Study Director Program Associate Sujai J. Shivakumar David E. Dierksheide Program Officer Program Associate Ken Jacobson Consultant *As of November 2004. vii

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For the National Research Council (NRC), this project was overseen by the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP), a standing board of the NRC established by the National Academies of Sciences and Engi- neering and the Institute of Medicine in 1991. The mandate of the STEP Board is to integrate understanding of scientific, technological, and economic elements in the formulation of national policies to promote the economic well-being of the United States. A distinctive characteristic of STEP's approach is its frequent in- teractions with public and private-sector decision makers. STEP bridges the dis- ciplines of business management, engineering, economics, and the social sciences to bring diverse expertise to bear on pressing public policy questions. The mem- bers of the STEP Board* and the NRC staff are listed below: Dale Jorgenson, Chair William J. Spencer, Vice Chair Samuel W. Morris University Professor Chairman Emeritus, retired Harvard University International SEMATECH M. Kathy Behrens Mark B. Myers Managing Director of Medical Visiting Executive Professor of Technology Management Robertson Stephens Investment The Wharton School Management University of Pennsylvania Kenneth Flamm Joseph Newhouse Dean Rusk Chair in International John D. MacArthur Professor of Affairs Health Policy and Management LBJ School of Public Affairs Harvard University University of Texas at Austin Roger Noll Bronwyn Hall Morris M. Doyle Professor of Economics Centennial Professor of Economics University of California at Berkeley Stanford University James Heckman Edward E. Penhoet Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Chief Program Officer Professor of Economics Science and Higher Education Programs University of Chicago Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation David T. Morgenthaler William J. Raduchel Founding Partner Chairman and CEO Morgenthaler Ventures Ruckus Network *As of November 2004. viii

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Jack Schuler Alan Wm. Wolff Chairman Managing Partner Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. Dewey Ballantine STEP Staff* Stephen A. Merrill Charles W. Wessner Executive Director Program Director Craig M. Schultz Sujai J. Shivakumar Research Associate Program Officer McAlister T. Clabaugh David E. Dierksheide Program Associate Program Associate *As of November 2004. ix

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Contents PREFACE xv List of Acronyms xxiii I. INTRODUCTION 1 II. PROCEEDINGS 27 Introduction 29 Dale W. Jorgenson, Harvard University Overview: "The End of Stovepiping" 31 William J. Raduchel, Ruckus Network Technological Change and Economic Opportunity: The View from the Federal Communications Commission 38 Peter A. Tenhula, Federal Communications Commission Panel I: New Technology Trends and Implications 56 Moderator: Mark B. Myers, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania The Record to Date: Quality-adjusted Prices for Equipment 56 Mark E. Doms, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco xi

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Preface Significant and sustained increases in semiconductor productivity, predicted by Moore's Law, has ushered a revolution in communications, computing, and information management.1 This technological revolution is linked to a distinct rise in the mid-1990s of the long-term growth trajectory of the United States.2 Indeed, U.S. productivity growth has accelerated in recent years, despite a series of negative economic shocks. Analysis by Dale Jorgenson, Mun Ho, and Kevin Stiroh of the sources of this growth over the 1996 to 2003 period suggests that the production and use of information technology account for a large share of the gains. The authors go further to project that during the next decade, private sector productivity growth will continue at a rate of 2.6 percent per year.3 The "New 1This is especially so for the computer hardware sector and perhaps for the Internet as well, although there is insufficient empirical evidence on the degree to which the Internet may be responsible. For a discussion of the impact of the Internet on economic growth see The Economist, "A Thinker's Guide," March 30, 2000. For a broad study of investment in technology-capital and its use in various sectors, see McKinsey Global Institute, U.S. Productivity Growth 19952000: Understanding the Contribution of Information Technology Relative to Other Factors, Washington, D.C.: McKinsey & Co., October 2001. 2See Dale W. Jorgenson and Kevin J. Stiroh, "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age" in National Research Council, Measuring and Sustaining the New Economy: Report of a Workshop, Dale W. Jorgenson and Charles W. Wessner, eds., Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2002. 3Dale W. Jorgenson, Mun S. Ho, and Kevin J. Stiroh, "Will the U.S. Productivity Resurgence Continue?" FRBNY Current Issues in Economics and Finance, 10(1), 2004. xv

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xvi PREFACE Economy" is, thus, not a fad, but a long-term productivity shift of major significance.4 The idea of a New Economy brings together the technological innovations, structural changes, and public policy challenges associated with measuring and sustaining this remarkable economic phenomenon. Technological innovation--more accurately, the rapid rate of technological innovation in information technology (including computers, software, and tele- communications) and the rapid growth of the Internet--are now widely seen as underpinning the productivity gains that characterize the New Economy.5 These productivity gains derive from greater efficiencies in the production of computers from expanded use of information technologies.6 Many therefore believe that the productivity growth of the New Economy draws from the technological innova- tions found in information technology industries.7 Structural changes arise from a reconfiguration of knowledge networks and business patterns made possible by innovations in information technology. Phenomena, such as business-to-business e-commerce and Internet retailing, are altering how firms and individuals interact, enabling greater efficiency in pur- chases, production processes, and inventory management.8 Offshore outsourcing 4The introduction of advanced productivity-enhancing technologies obviously does not eliminate the business cycle. See Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Is There a New Economy? A First Report on the OECD Growth Project. Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2000, p. 17. See also M. N. Baily and R. Z. Lawrence, "Do We Have an E-conomy?" NBER Working Paper 8243, April 23, 2001, accessed at . 5Broader academic and policy recognition of the New Economy can be seen, for example from the "Roundtable on the New Economy and Growth in the United States" at the 2003 annual meetings of the American Economic Association, held in Washington, D.C. Roundtable participants included Martin Baily, Martin Feldstein, Robert J. Gordon, Dale Jorgenson, Joseph Stiglitz, and Lawrence Summers. Even those who were initially skeptical about the New Economy phenomenon now find that the facts support the belief that faster productivity growth has proved more durable and has spread to other areas of the economy--e.g., retail, banking. See The Economist, "The New `New Economy'," September 11, 2003. 6See, for example, Stephen Oliner and Daniel Sichel, "The Resurgence of Growth in the late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(4), 2000. Oliner and Sichel estimate that improvements in the computer industry's own productive processes account for about a quarter of the overall productivity increase. They also note that the use of information technol- ogy by all sorts of companies accounts for nearly half the rise in productivity. 7See Alan Greenspan's remarks before the White House Conference on the New Economy, Wash- ington D.C., April 5, 2000, accessed at . For a historical perspective, see the Proceedings section of this volume. Ken Flamm compares the economic impact of semiconductors today with impact of railroads in the nineteenth century. 8See, for example, Brookes Martin and Zaki Wahhaj, "The Shocking Economic Impact of B2B," Global Economic Paper, 37, Goldman Sachs, February 3, 2000.

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PREFACE xvii of service production is another manifestation of structural changes made pos- sible by new information and communications technologies. These structural changes are still emerging as the use and applications of the Internet continue to evolve. Public policy plays a major role at several levels. This includes the government's role in fostering rules of interaction within the Internet9 and its discretion in setting and enforcing the rules by which technology firms, among others, compete.10 More familiarly, public policy concerns particular fiscal and regulatory choices that can affect the rate and focus of investments in sectors such as telecommunications. The government also plays a critical role within the inno- vation system.11 It provides national research capacities,12 incentives to promote education and training in critical disciplines, and funds most of the nation's basic research.13 The government also plays a major role in stimulating innovation, most broadly through the patent system.14 Government procurement and awards also encourage the development of new technologies to fulfill national missions 9Dr. Vinton Cerf notes that the ability of individuals to interact in potentially useful ways within the infrastructure of the still expanding Internet rests on its basic rule architecture: "The reason it can function is that all the networks use the same set of protocols. An important point is these networks are run by different administrations, which must collaborate both technically and economically on a global scale." See comments by Dr. Cerf in National Research Council, Measuring and Sustaining the New Economy: Report of a Workshop, op cit. Also in the same volume, see the presentation by Dr. Shane Greenstein on the evolution of the Internet from academic and government-related applica- tions to the commercial world. 10The relevance of competition policy to the New Economy is manifested by the intensity of interest in the antitrust case, United States versus Microsoft, and associated policy issues. 11See Richard Nelson, ed., National Innovation Systems, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. 12The STEP Board has recently completed a major review of the role and operation of government- industry partnerships for the development of new technologies. See National Research Council, Government-Industry Partnerships for the Development of New Technologies: Summary Report, Charles W. Wessner, ed., Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2003. 13National Research Council, Trends in Federal Support of Research and Graduate Education, Stephen A. Merrill, ed., Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2001. 14In addition to government-funded research, intellectual property protection plays an essential role in the continued development of the biotechnology industry. See Wesley M. Cohen and John Walsh, "Public Research, Patents and Implications for Industrial R&D in the Drug, Biotechnology, Semiconductor and Computer Industries" in Government-Industry Partnerships in Biotechnology and Information Technologies: New Needs and New Opportunities, Charles W. Wessner, ed., Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2002. There is a similar situation in Information Technology with respect to the combination of generally non-appropriable government-originated innovation and appropriable industry intellectual property creation. The economic rationale for government invest- ment is based on the non-appropriablity of many significant information technology innovations, including the most widely used idiomatic data structures and algorithms, as well as design and architectural patterns. In addition, the IT industry relies on a number of technical and process commonalities or standards such as the suite of Internet protocols, programming languages, core design patterns, and architectural styles.

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xviii PREFACE in defense, health, and the environment.15 Collectively, these public policies play a central role in the development of the New Economy. The New Economy offers new policy challenges. Modern information and communications technologies make the globalization of research, development and manufacture possible at scales that are unprecedented. This reality has prompted some analysts to argue that information and communication technology and software production are not commodities that the United States can potentially afford to give up overseas suppliers but are an essential part of the economy's production function. They believe that a loss of U.S. leadership in information and communication technology and software will damage the nation's future ability to compete in diverse industries, not least the information and communi- cation technology industry. Given the pervasiveness of semiconductor-based technologies, collateral consequences of a failure to develop adequate policies to sustain national leadership in information and communication technology is likely to extend to a wide variety of sectors from financial services and health care to automobiles, with critical implications for our nation's security and the wellbeing of our citizens. Understanding and responding to this policy challenge requires a multidisciplinary approach to the interconnections among science, technology, and economic policy. THE CONTEXT OF THIS REPORT Since 1991 the National Research Council's Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) has undertaken a program of activities to improve policymakers' understanding of the interconnections among science, technology, and economic policy and their importance to the American economy and its inter- national competitive position. The Board's interest in the New Economy and its underpinnings derive directly from its mandate. This mandate has previously been reflected in STEP's widely cited volume, U.S. Industry in 2000, which assesses the determinants of competitive perfor- mance in a wide range of manufacturing and service industries, including those 15For example, government support played a critical role in the early development of computers. See Kenneth Flamm, Creating the Computer, Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1988. For an overview of government industry collaboration, see the introduction to the recent report on the Advanced Technology Program, National Research Council, The Advanced Technology Program: Assessing Outcomes, Charles W. Wessner, ed., Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2001. The historical and technical case for government-funded research in IT is well documented in reports by the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council. In particular, see National Research Council, Innovation in Information Technology, Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2003. This volume provides an update of the of the "tire tracks" diagram first published in CSTB's 1995 Brooks-Sutherland report, which depicts the critical role that government funded university research has played in the development of multi-billion-dollar IT industry.

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PREFACE xix relating to information technology.16 The Board also undertook a major study, chaired by Gordon Moore of Intel, on how government-industry partnerships can support growth enhancing technologies.17 Reflecting a growing recognition of the importance of the surge in productivity since 1995, the Board launched a multifaceted assessment, exploring the sources of growth, measurement chal- lenges, and the policy framework required to sustain the New Economy. The first exploratory volume was published in 2002.18 Subsequent workshops and ensuing reports in this series include Productivity and Cyclicality in the Semiconductor Industry, Deconstructing the Computer, and Software, Growth, and the Future of the U.S. Economy. The present report, The Telecommunications Challenge, examines the importance of telecommunications to the continued expansion in U.S. productivity growth and related policy issues needed to sustain the benefits of the New Economy. SYMPOSIUM AND DISCUSSIONS Believing that increased productivity in the semiconductor, computer com- ponent, and software and telecommunications industries plays a key role in sustaining the New Economy, the Committee on Measuring and Sustaining the New Economy, under the auspices of the STEP Board, convened a symposium November 15, 2004 at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. The symposium on The Telecommunications Challenge drew together expertise from leading academics, national accountants, and innovators in the information technology sector (Appendix B lists these individuals). A major purpose of this symposium was to draw together expert knowledge to inform the Committee, which will issue its findings and recommendations on measuring and sustaining the New Economy in a final consensus report of this series.19 The "Proceedings" chapter of this volume contains summaries of their workshop presentations and discussions. Given the quality and the number of presentations, summarizing the workshop proceedings has been a challenge. We have made every effort to capture the main points made during the presentations and the ensuing discussions. We apologize for any inadvertent errors or omissions in our summary of the proceedings. The lessons from this symposium and others 16National Research Council, U.S. Industry in 2000: Studies in Competitive Performance, David C. Mowery, ed., Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1999. 17For a summary of this multi-volume study, see National Research, Government-Industry Part- nerships for the Development of New Technologies, Summary Report, op. cit. 18 National Research Council, Measuring and Sustaining the New Economy: Report of a Work- shop, op. cit. 19National Research Council, Enhancing Productivity Growth in the Information Age: Measuring and Sustaining the New Economy, Dale W. Jorgenson and Charles W. Wessner, eds., Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, forthcoming.

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xx PREFACE in this series will contribute to the Committee's final consensus report on Measuring and Sustaining the New Economy. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS There is considerable interest in the policy community in developing a better understanding of the technological drivers and appropriate regulatory framework for the New Economy, as well as in a better grasp of its operation. This interest is reflected in the support on the part of agencies that have played a role in the creation and development of the New Economy. We are grateful for the participa- tion and the contributions of the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, the Department of Energy, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, and Sandia National Laboratories. We are indebted to Ken Jacobson for his preparation of the meeting summary. Several members of the STEP staff also deserve recognition for their contribu- tions to the preparation of this report. We wish to thank Sujai Shivakumar for his contributions to the introduction to the report. We are also indebted to McAlister Clabaugh and David Dierksheide for their role in preparing the conference and getting this report ready for publication. NRC REVIEW This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies' Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. I wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Jaison Abel, Analysis Group; David Clark, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Shane Greenstein, Northwestern University; Robert Sparks, California Medical Association Foundation; and William Taylor, NERA Economic Consulting. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive com- ments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by the National Academies, which was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

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PREFACE xxi STRUCTURE This report has three parts: an Introduction; a summary of the proceedings of the November 15, 2004 symposium; and finally, a bibliography that provides additional references. This report represents an important step in a major research effort by the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy to advance our understand- ing of the factors shaping the New Economy, the metrics necessary to understand it better, and the policies best suited to sustaining the greater productivity and prosperity that it promises. Dale W. Jorgenson

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List of Acronyms BEA Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce CLEC Competitive Local Exchange Carriers: a telephone company that competes with an incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) such as a Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC), GTE, ALLNET, etc. DBS Direct Broadcast Satellite; describes small-dish, digital satellite systems such as DirecTV and Dish Network DSL Digital Subscriber Loop; refers to a family of digital telecommunica- tions protocols designed to allow high speed data communication over the existing copper telephone lines between end-users and telephone companies FCC Federal Communications Commission GNP Gross National Product ISP Internet Service Provider IT Information Technology ITU International Telecommunications Union IPTV Internet Protocol Television; a common denominator for systems where television and/or video signals are distributed to subscribers or viewers using a broadband connection over Internet Protocol xxiii

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xxiv LIST OF ACRONYMS LLU Local Loop Unbundling is the process of allowing telecommunications operators to use the twisted-pair telephone connections from the tele- phone exchange's central office to the customer premises. This local loop is owned by the incumbent local exchange carrier. RBOC Regional Bell Operating Companies SETI Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. The SETI institute is dedicated to explore, understand, and explain the origin, nature, and prevalence of life in the universe. STEP The Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy of the National Academies TCP/IP Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol; a protocol for com- munication between computers, used as a standard for transmitting data over networks and as the basis for standard Internet protocols UBE Unbundled Network Elements are a requirement mandated by the Tele- communications Act of 1996. They are the parts of the network that the ILECs are required to offer on an unbundled basis. Together, these parts make up a loop that connects to a DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexeror), a voice switch, or both. The loop allows non-facilities-based telecommunications providers to deliver service without laying network infrastructure (copper/fiber). VoIP Voice over Internet Protocol; this refers to a category of hardware and software that enables people to use the Internet as the transmission medium for telephone calls by sending voice data in packets rather than by traditional circuit transmissions. WiFi Wireless Fidelity; a term for certain types of wireless local area networks that use specifications conforming to standards set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers WiMAX Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access is a certification mark for products that pass conformity and interoperability tests for standards set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers concerning point-to-multipoint broadband wireless access. 3G Third Generation; usually used in reference to the next generation digital mobile network