Technology & Telecom

WPC's Technology & Telecom Project focuses on wireless regulations, access to broadband internet, wireline regulatory environment, open source issues, telecom regulations, video franchise reform, technology and privacy issues, and more.

Publications

Bring the Competition Revolution to Cable T.V.

April 17, 2006 in Publications

Washington Policy Center consistently promotes a simple principle - competition is good for consumers. In our free economy competition is what drives excellence, innovation and, more importantly, low prices, meaning a better life for all the citizens of our state. Nothing is more motivating to business people than the daily knowledge that their customers will walk the minute they are not satisfied with either the price or the quality of the service being offered. That is why it is so important for government officials not only to refrain from blocking consumers' voluntary choices, but to actively promote competition when advances in technology make new options available.

"E-Waste" Mandates Should Be Trashed

March 18, 2005 in Publications

Haste maketh waste in the fast-paced world of technology. Every year, Americans trash two million tons of old computers and other forms of electronic waste. While that’s a tiny fraction of the nation's total waste stream, the issue of what to do with all the "e-waste" is creating hype and hysteria among state and federal lawmakers.

A New Way to Make a Phone Call

May 18, 2004 in Publications

We live in a world where leaps in technology happen on a regular basis. The latest jump is new technology that lets telephone users make calls over the internet. Called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), the new service will allow a person to talk to anyone in the world for a fraction of the cost of a traditional long distance call.

Why We Can't Shop for Local Phone Service

May 18, 2002 in Publications

Your local phone company may soon be trying to sell you long-distance service. Across the country the regional Bells are eagerly petitioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to be allowed into the lucrative long-distance telephone market. In return, they are supposed to give up monopoly control in their own markets and let their customers shop for local phone service.

When Government Enters the Telecommunications Market: An Assessment of Tacoma's Click! Network

June 8, 2001 in Publications

Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) was founded more than a century ago as Tacoma City Light and was granted monopoly status and the charter to “meet community needs for electricity.” More recently the utility has expanded its mission. In 1997 TPU embarked on an ambitious experiment to build a publicly-funded telecommunications system called the Click! Network. The system was intended to provide high-speed access for cable television, data transmission and Internet services for TPU customers.

When Government Enters the Telecommunications Market: An Assessment of Tacoma’s Click! Network

June 6, 2001 in Publications

In 1997 Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU) embarked on an ambitious experiment to build a publicly-funded telecommunications system called the Click! Network. The system was intended to provide high-speed access for cable television, data transmission and Internet services for TPU customers.

Judge's Mistakes Provide Good Reasons for Overturning Case Against Microsoft

April 6, 2001 in Publications

A federal appeals court is expected to decide this spring whether to overturn Judge Penfield Jackson’s ruling to break up Microsoft. Many believe the best way to predict the outcome is to examine the merits of the case, as the appeals court judges are doing. What is often overlooked, however, are the serious flaws in the way the case was presented in the first place. The weaknesses in the case itself are examined in another Washington Institute Policy Note.

The Many Flaws in the Case Against Microsoft

April 4, 2001 in Publications

A federal appeals court in Washington D.C. will soon decide whether, as the federal government contends, Microsoft is an illegal monopoly. The court is reviewing the ruling of trial judge Thomas Penfield Jackson that Microsoft violated federal anti-trust laws. He has determined Microsoft should suffer the severest penalty possible: the break-up of the company.

New Proposals to Tax the Internet

January 26, 2000 in Publications

By enacting Initiative 695 in November 1999, Washington voters declared themselves to be overtaxed and not willing to take it anymore. Not only did they reduce state taxes by $750 million a year, the largest tax cut in state history, by repealing the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET), but they determined that all future tax increases must be referred to a public vote.