Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson is a visiting fellow at AEI's Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy and president of Entropy Economics LLC, a strategic research firm specializing in technology, innovation, and the global economy. He advises investors and technology companies, focusing on the Internet ecosystem and the broadband networks and applications that drive it. Swanson is also a scholar at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, where, since 2005, his research has centered on economic growth and policies that encourage it. For eight years Swanson advised technology investors as executive editor of the Gilder Technology Report and later was a senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, where he directed the Center for Global Innovation. Swanson began his career as an aide to former senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) and was then an economic analyst for former representative Jack Kemp (R-NY) at Empower America.
OverRegulation by Shutterstock

The choice between Uber and uber-regulation

Last week Uber, the Internet-based private car service, garnered new investments valuing the four-year old firm at $17 billion. Uber is a perfect example of the way the Internet can turbocharge a simple idea and transform an industry – taxi cabs – in the blink of an eye.

WhatsApp, the messaging service acquired by Facebook in February for $19 billion, is another example of the speed with which a simple app, built on the foundation...

DirecTV and Don Draper in a ‘Life After Television’ world

Nearly 25 years ago, George Gilder wrote a book called “Life After Television.” Moore’s law of microchips and similarly powerful forces in fiber optics, digital storage, and wireless radio transmission, Gilder said, would enable the construction of new networks of computers that would end the stultifying era of mass media. George famously got rid of the rarely used televisions in his home to support the thesis of his book — that the coming “worldwide...

SlowLane by Shutterstock

Title II communications IS the ‘slow lane’

For the last several decades, the U.S. has conducted a kind of natural experiment in communications regulation. Traditional telephony was subject to detailed public utility style regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. Newer information services like broadband and the Internet, meanwhile, fell mostly under the far less intrusive Title I. Question: In which realm has more innovation occurred – the Title II telecom world or the non-Title II Internet world?

If you said...

MuniBroadband by Shutterstock

GON, baby, GON? Or new life for muni broadband?

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler spoke forcefully at the annual NCTA Cable Show in Los Angeles on Tuesday. Most observers focused on his Open Internet remarks, but Wheeler also made waves by asserting an FCC power to overrule state laws that limit the ability of cities and towns to build their own networks.

In recent years, at least 20 states, after witnessing a number of failures of such municipal networks, enacted limits on such government owned...

Complexity by Shutterstock

FCC undermining its own ‘straightforward and easy’ spectrum standard

What are the limits of bureaucratic knowledge, expertise, and judgment? Regardless of one’s political orientation, one might think the last decade contained more than enough cases of Beltway hubris to suggest the ceiling on such smarts is much lower than just about anyone thought. This is not necessarily an indictment of the well meaning civil servant, lawmaker, or agency head. The fact is the world is just very complicated – far, far more complicated...