Following the digital TV transition, segments of high quality spectrum will be vacated and repurposed by the Department of Commerce. Kneuer describes these developments as an historic convergence of regulatory events, technological advances and consumer demands which will totally change the broadcast game. Because this new 700 MHz spectrum has such powerful propagation characteristics, it can allow new players to leapfrog incumbents by coming to market quickly to reach a wide audience.
As business models are built around this new spectrum, the increase in competition will have policy implications. What is the best way to ensure fair network access and promote innovation in this potentially lucrative new space? Kneuer suggests that the applications industry has historically taken the access layer for granted, and is now pushing the government to insure that access. Regulators in Washington, D. C., however, are moving to a new model, the market. Rather than having the government setting rates, terms and conditions (a practice that promotes competition in the regulatory space, not the technology space), Kneuer proposes that market forces will advantage those companies that deliver the new products and services consumers want. He invites application companies to engage at the policy level, but also to step up in the new marketplace.
Audience members call Kneuer out on several aspects of the network neutrality debate in a fiery Q & A. Kneuer engages questions fully, while still holding fast to his views.
John M. R. Kneuer was nominated by President GeorgeW. Bush on May 1, 2006, and confirmed by the U.S. Senateon Dec. 9, 2006, to be Assistant Secretary for Communicationsand Information and Administrator of the National Telecommunicationsand Information Administration.
As Assistant Secretary for Communicationsand Information, Mr. Kneuer oversees and directs NTIA.NTIA seeks to promote market-based policies which lowerprices to consumers and encourage innovation, while harnessingthe resources of the federal government to support spectrum-basedtechnologies which enhance efficiency and productivity.In addition to representing the Executive Branch in domesticand international telecommunications and informationpolicy activities, NTIA also manages the federal useof spectrum; performs cutting edge telecommunicationsresearch and engineering, including resolving technicaltelecommunications issues for the federal governmentand private sector; and administers infrastructure andpublic telecommunications facilities grants.
Mr. Kneuer joined NTIA in October 2003. Prior to joiningNTIA, Mr. Kneuer served as a Senior Associate at thelaw firm of Piper Rudnick in Washington, D.C., providingregulatory and legislative representation to corporateclients in the telecommunications, defense, and transportationindustries.
From 1997-1998, Mr. Kneuer served as the Executive Directorfor Government Relations at the Industrial TelecommunicationsAssociation, and prior to that served as an Attorney-Advisorin the Commercial Wireless Division of the Federal CommunicationsCommission's Wireless Bureau. Mr. Kneuer received B.A.and J.D. degrees from the Catholic University of America.He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
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