Doug Brake

Doug Brake
Director, Broadband and Spectrum Policy
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Phone: 
202 524-5541

Doug Brake directs the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation’s work on broadband and spectrum policy. He writes extensively and speaks frequently to lawmakers, the news media, and other influential audiences on topics such as next-generation wireless, rural broadband infrastructure, and network neutrality.

Brake is a recognized broadband policy expert, having testified numerous times before Congress, state legislatures, and regulatory commissions, as well as serving on the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Group. His written commentary has appeared in publications such as Democracy Journal, Ripon Forum, Morning Consult, Roll Call, The Hill, and RealClearPolicy, and he has provided analysis on air for broadcast outlets such as Bloomberg, NPR, CNBC, and Al Jazeera.

He previously worked as a research assistant at the Silicon Flatirons Center at the University of Colorado, and he interned as a Hatfield scholar at the FCC, assisting with the implementation of the advanced communications services section of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act.

Brake holds a law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and a bachelor’s degree in English literature and philosophy from Macalester College.

Research Areas:

Recent Publications

April 7, 2020

There has been a surprising amount of handwringing over whether the big shift to working from home under COVID quarantines will “break the Internet,” especially from some seeking more government regulation or direct government provision of broadband. In fact, there is little reason to worry—our nation’s networks are handling these changes in usage patterns with relative ease.

April 6, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed gaps in society’s digital readiness for social distancing. If policymakers seize the opportunity to address these gaps, they can make it easier to manage the next pandemic while providing significant long-term social and economic benefits.

March 13, 2020

Any stimulus package should include measures to spur technology deployment that would not just boost the economy, but also, in some cases, help society become more resilient so that we are better able to cope with future pandemics, which are all but inevitable.

January 16, 2020

We would all benefit from a law that ensures an open Internet, without treating it like an old-fashioned telephone utility as the Obama era rules did. But it is Congress, not Governor Cuomo, that should write that bill.

October 28, 2019

Growing animus toward “Big Tech” companies and generalized opposition to technological innovation engenders support for policies that are expressly designed to inhibit it. That is deeply problematic for future progress, prosperity, and competitiveness.

September 3, 2019

Policymakers should enable entry into the broadband market, but avoid undermining the dynamism of the sector by actively promoting additional competitors.

May 23, 2019

There are good opportunities to improve regulation of data privacy in the United States, but the “Act to Protect the Privacy of Online Customer Information” proposal is not one of them. This legislation fails to balance privacy with other key interests and wouldn’t effectively increase users’ privacy writes Doug Brake.

April 29, 2019

It is surely in the interest of the United States to have a robust deployment of 5G sooner rather than later. But it is important we not overreact to the race with China or lose sight of America’s strengths.

April 19, 2019

Submarine cables use fiber-optic technology, whereby information is encoded onto waves of light transmitted by lasers across thin glass at up to 200 terabits per second.

March 21, 2019

Over the years, there have been multiple congressional attempts to secure open Internet protections. Yet another bill, this one crafted by Democrats in both the House and the Senate, is known as the “Save the Internet Act of 2019.” On introduction, we at ITIF called this bill a non-starter because it returns broadband to a Title II classification.

February 1, 2019

After some uncertainty over whether the shutdown would force a delay, the DC Circuit Court heard oral arguments Friday morning in what will be at least the fourth major case in the net neutrality saga.

January 15, 2019

As Doug Brake writes for Morning Consult, the new House majority has a unique opportunity to make good on a campaign promise and lock in permanent protections for net neutrality.

Recent Events and Presentations

February 6, 2020

ITIF welcomed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to announce the next steps in repurposing a large portion of C-band spectrum to fuel 5G deployment in the United States.

November 13, 2018

Spectrum remains the lifeblood of wireless communications, but not all spectrum is the same.Mid-band spectrum is the goldilocks of frequencies—not too high, and not too low. Portions of this spectrum will be crucial for next-generation networks, and other nations are moving full steam ahead to allocate this spectrum for 5G services.

May 15, 2018

Please join ITIF for an expert panel discussion about its latest report on why and how Congress should give the FCC clear authority to enforce basic bright-line rules and bring resolution to this debate.

July 11, 2017

Net neutrality has become the most contentious issue in modern telecommunications policy. Join ITIF for a panel of experts to discuss opportunities, challenges, what is new, and how best to move forward in this perennial debate.

June 8, 2017

Join ITIF for a conversation with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn followed by a panel discussion with both industry and municipalities to discuss opportunities and challenges for spurring broadband deployment.

May 17, 2017

Join ITIF for a conversation exploring spectrum policy and opportunities to free up airwaves for innovative new uses.

February 2, 2017

President Trump’s administration will likely bring fundamental changes in jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission. Many expect former Chairman Wheeler’s signature policy shift—using the pretext of net neutrality rules to classify Broadband Internet Access Services as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act—to be undone. How that undoing is done matters immensely. Join ITIF as we host a panel of experts to discuss this question and more.

October 4, 2016

Join ITIF to discuss the latest wrinkles in the FCC privacy debate and where policymakers should go from here.

June 30, 2016

Join ITIF to discuss a new report examining the transition to 5G, the impact on broadband competition and international competitiveness, policy hurdles, and more.

March 1, 2016

With the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considering a rulemaking to create broadband privacy rules, please join ITIF for a panel discussion on the wisdom or folly of sector-specific regulation, how to best balance consumer protections with the value unlocked by data analytics, and the broader context of ongoing changes in both telecommunications and privacy policy.

October 29, 2015

Despite the real, persistent problem of the digital divide, the tech policy world remains transfixed by net neutrality. Join ITIF for an expert panel discussion of a new ITIF report proposing a legislative grand bargain that would give the FCC clear jurisdiction to regulate net neutrality while at the same time appropriating significant new funds for a national digital divide initiative.

August 17, 2015

Doug Brake debated Tim Wu on net neutrality at the Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference.