Gus Hurwitz

Gus Hurwitz

Gus Hurwitz, a visiting fellow at AEI's Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy, is an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law, where he teaches telecommunications law, cyber law, law and economics, and other regulation-related subjects. His research builds on his background in law, technology, and economics to consider the interface between law and technology and the role of regulation in high-tech industries. He has a particular expertise in telecommunications law and technology. He was previously the inaugural research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition, and before that was a visiting assistant professor at George Mason University Law School. He previously spent several years as a trial attorney with the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s Telecommunications and Media Enforcement Section. Hurwitz has a background in technology and worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory. During this time, his work was recognized with professional awards from organizations such as the Federal Laboratory Consortium, R&D Magazine, Los Alamos National Lab, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California. In addition, he held an Internet2 Land Speed world record with the Guinness Book of World Records. Hurwitz is a co-blogger at Truth on the Market.

2015: The year of video, or of video regulation?

It’s still a bit early for 2014 retrospectives and 2015 predictions, but I’d like to offer an initial forecast for the year to come: it will be the year in which video regulation catches up, or at least tries to, with the changing video marketplace. I’m both optimistic and fearful about what this year of regulatory change will bring. Things will go well if regulators remember this one point: we have never regulated video for the sake of regulating video. However, I pessimistically expect that regulators will approach video as a thing that must be regulated, without concern for underlying justifications. The past year has seen many long-simmering issues in the video marketplace come to a boil. On the law and regulatory side, we have seen the Supreme Court’s Aereo decision, multiple pieces of proposed video legislation, the FCC’s forthcoming Online Video NPRM, and the importance of online video in the net neutrality debate.
TechWave by Shutterstock

mmWave hello to our millimeter friend

At its October Open Commission Meeting, the FCC adopted a Notice of Inquiry  (NOI) to examine the use of so-called “millimeter-wave” (mmWave) spectrum – spectrum at frequencies above 24 GHz. This NOI is a breath of fresh air, with the potential to facilitate technologies that will revolutionize not only the telecommunications industry, but also telecommunications regulation. Today, I look at why mmWave spectrum is important, its challenges, and what the FCC needs to do to not screw it up. (Spoiler alert: it’s already veering down the wrong path!) What is mmWave spectrum? What are the challenges? As the name suggests, millimeter-wave spectrum is spectrum with a wavelength measured on the order of millimeters. The wavelength of 24 GHz spectrum, for instance, is 12.5 mm; the wavelength of 90 GHz spectrum is 3.3 mm. mmWave has the potential to facilitate widespread deployment of new multi-gigabit Internet service options in every market in the United States.
WheelerNPRM by Shutterstock

Chairman Wheeler’s musings on the future of video: Of bundles, balance, and the goodness of both

This is the second of two posts discussing FCC Chairman Wheeler’s recent blog post, which detailed his proposal to apply the commission’s rules governing multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to over the top (OTT) video providers. In this post, I look at the chairman’s curious antipathy towards bundles and the need to maintain the complex regulatory balance struck by existing video regulations. But first, some comments on the status of the chairman’s proposal.
OnlineVideo by Shutterstock

Chairman Wheeler’s musings on the future of video: Is this a Tech Neutrality NPRM, and what’s up with linear programming?

Earlier this week, FCC Chairman Wheeler published a blog post detailing his proposal to apply the Commission’s rules governing multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to over the top (OTT) video providers, who stream linear channels of video over the Internet. More precisely, Chairman Wheeler proposed to classify such Internet-based video providers as MVPDs. Commentators have been buzzing about this expected rulemaking for several weeks, and the Commission has previously made clear that...

OTTNPRM by Shutterstock

The FCC’s OTT NPRM: Is Aereo cable by nature? OTT, yeah MVPD

News broke late last month that the FCC is working on a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would classify some types of Internet-based video distributors as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs). This is a big deal. MVPD classification would place these Internet-based video distributors on similar regulatory footing as traditional MVPDs like cable and satellite, with both the benefits and obligations that such footing entails. At the same time, there are substantial limitations, both on the MVPD classification and on the types of Internet-based video distributors to which the classification would apply. This is the first in a series of posts that will discuss the regulatory treatment of online video. Today, I’ll provide some background and look at what the NPRM likely would (or could) do, as well as the links between the NPRM and Aereo. In future posts I’ll get into more of the challenges about how specific rules may apply to OTT, the (statutory, if not logical) importance of “linear” vs. other video, and whether this is likely to be a step into the future or further tie the industry to the past.