Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Publication of Winning the Silicon Sweepstakes

I am pleased to report that the Yale University Press has published my latest book entitled Winning the Silicon Sweepstakes: Can the United States Compete in Global Telecommunications. See Book Overview

With comprehensive documentation, I challenge the conventional wisdom and sponsored research that claims the U.S. has best in class telecommunications infrastructure and services produced by an optimal, competitive marketplace. I demonstrate that the glide path of deregulation has handicapped the nation’s competitive advantage, and has contributed to a comparatively mediocre standing of the U.S. in both broadband and wireless markets.

I assert the need for smarter, better calibrated, light-handed regulation coupled with efforts to promote greater consumer digital literacy. Rather than rely almost exclusively on marketplace self-regulation portions of the telecommunications marketplace need a government referee able to resolve disputes and safeguard consumers.

The book asks and answers such questions as:

• How can the United States demonstrate global best practices in some information and communications technology markets, such as software and computing, but woefully lag in others, such as in wireless and broadband services?

• If the information revolution was supposed to “change everything” how did over $1 trillion in investment largely evaporate in three years?

• How can incumbent telephone companies successfully argue the need for governments to create incentives for investment in next generation networks while at the same time claiming the existence of robust competition eliminates the need for any other sort of government involvement?

• Why has the U.S. largely failed to bridge the Digital Divide despite having created subsidy mechanisms that invest billions annually in never achieved solutions?

• If the telecommunications marketplace has become so robustly competitive, where are the usual consumer benefits of lower prices, diverse choices, and responsive customer service?

• Why does it appear that incumbent ventures can belatedly embrace new technologies yet eventually extend their market power by acquiring or extinguishing most competitive threats through mergers and acquisitions?

• Why does it appear that the next generation Internet will become less open, neutral and accessible possibly tipping the competitive playing field in favor of “walled gardens” of content and services offered by incumbents keen on disadvantaging newcomers offering the “next best thing”?