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

September 16, 2021

The current draft of the House budget reconciliation package includes a tax credit designed to support municipal broadband. While this credit is somewhat narrower than some reports have suggested, it is still ill-advised.

June 24, 2021

No, local governments generally are not well-suited to providing broadband service. Economic theory suggests city-run broadband would not serve the country well, and previous real-world attempts bear that out with a mixed track record marked by several failures.

May 12, 2021

Assertions that symmetrical broadband is a national imperative are not well grounded in application demand or actual use of networks. Requiring symmetry in an infrastructure support program would drive up costs, reduce flexibility, and likely result in subsidies for redundant infrastructure in already served areas.

May 12, 2021

Momentum for an infrastructure package presents a tremendous opportunity to close the digital divide. Policymakers should avoid a political stalemate by eschewing utility-style broadband overbuilding and instead focus on pragmatic expansion of cost-effective, competitive networks.

April 29, 2021

In President Biden’s joint address to Congress, he highlighted his promise to improve America’s broadband. Under the American Jobs Plan, all Americans will have access to high-speed internet, including the 35% of rural American’s that still don’t have it.

March 22, 2021

Nearly one in five rural Americans still lack access to broadband Internet service. Federal subsidies could bridge that gap if they are carefully targeted through a reverse-auction program that leverages economies of scale by encouraging large providers to participate.

February 8, 2021

Broadband affordability is a problem for some Americans, but not the “crisis” advocates claim. U.S. broadband prices are comparable with those charged abroad and by municipal networks. To ensure affordability for everyone, we need a better subsidy program, not changes to industry structure.

November 30, 2020

Fearmongers claim the 5G sky is falling: China is way ahead, and drastic measures are needed to catch up. But these claims are often based on poorly understood comparisons of 5G deployment. China’s 5G stats can paint a misleading picture if taken at face value.

November 16, 2020

To achieve their vision, advocates of broadband “revolution” must do everything they can to impugn the current system, which is working well, to make it look like it is really failing. So ITIF has set out to correct the record and expose how flimsy the evidence is for many broadband myths.

November 16, 2020

Some advocates are willing to take extreme steps to transform the U.S. broadband system, because they claim we require universal broadband networks capable of gigabit-per-second speeds. This is not true.

November 7, 2020

The president-elect’s overall approach to technology and innovation policy appears to be formulated to engage the government as an active partner alongside industry in spurring innovation—but also as a tougher regulator of many tech industries and technologies.

September 28, 2020

Tech policy broadly defined becomes more important each presidential election, and this one is no different. As it has in every cycle since 2008, ITIF provides a side-by-side comparison of the nominees’ positions on key issues related to the progress of technological innovation.

Recent Events and Presentations

April 1, 2021

ITIF hosted a discussion with leading experts on how to resolve these questions and bridge the rural broadband gap once and for all.

December 15, 2020

ITIF hosted an expert discussion of Jonathan Nuechterlein and Howard Shelanski’s new paper, “Building on What Works: An Analysis of U.S. Broadband Policy.”

April 21, 2020

ITIF hosted a video webinar to discuss what is needed to provide more technological innovation in the classroom.

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.