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Doug Brake

Doug Brake

Former Director, Broadband and Spectrum Policy

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Twitter: @dmbrake

Doug Brake directed ITIF’s work on broadband and spectrum policy from 2013 to 2021. 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 having served 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

November 8, 2021

Mapping the International 5G Standards Landscape and How It Impacts U.S. Strategy and Policy

Standards-setting bodies for 5G technology appear to be working well, but U.S. policymakers are justifiably wary of China’s ambitions to manipulate the system. They should stay on guard and provide financial support for U.S. companies to participate.

November 1, 2021

Open Radio Access Networks: A Primer for Policymakers

Open Radio Access Networks (Open RANs) would define open standards and interfaces between components of wireless RANs, providing a unique opportunity to diversify the supply chain by separating today’s integrated, single-provider RAN systems into modular parts.

September 16, 2021

Lawmakers Should Strip Ill-Advised Tax Preference for Government-Owned Broadband From Reconciliation Package

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

Broadband Myths: Does Municipal Broadband Scale Well to Fit U.S. Broadband Needs?

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

Broadband Myth Series: Do We Need Symmetrical Upload and Download Speeds?

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

Refining the Biden Broadband Proposal

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

Comments to FCC Regarding 5G Open Radio Access Networks

ITIF filed comments supporting efforts to accelerate open wireless equipment, but cautioned against too prescriptive an approach or assuming how open radio architectures will evolve.

April 29, 2021

Biden’s Broadband Boondoggle

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

How to Bridge the Rural Broadband Gap Once and For All

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 16, 2021

Comments to FCC Regarding an Emergency Expansion of E-Rate Funding

ITIF filed comments supporting an expansion of the E-Rate program to help address the homework gap during the pandemic.

February 11, 2021

Comments to FCC Regarding Earlier Equipment Marketing and Importation Opportunities

ITIF submitted comments to the FCC supporting proposed rule changes to streamline limited pre-sale marketing and importing of radio devices consistent with today’s dynamic market.

February 8, 2021

Broadband Myths: Are High Broadband Prices Holding Back Adoption?

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.

More publications by Doug Brake

Recent Events and Presentations

April 1, 2021

How to Bridge the Rural Broadband Gap Once and For All

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

Building on What Works: An Analysis of U.S. Broadband Policy

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

How to Close the Homework Gap and Boost Online Education

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

February 6, 2020

Speech: FCC Chairman Pai Announces C-Band Auction Plan for 5G

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

Mid-band Spectrum: Transitioning the C-Band and More

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

An Open Internet Détente: How and Why Bipartisan Legislation Should End the Net Neutrality Wars

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

Less Heat, More Light: Finding the Right Path Forward for Net Neutrality

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

How Municipalities and Industry Can Collaborate to Spur Broadband Deployment

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

Wireless Opportunities: Improving Federal Radio Systems and Freeing Spectrum for New Uses

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

February 2, 2017

2017 Telecom Priorities for Congress and the FCC

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

The FCC’s Sprint to a Broadband Privacy Rulemaking: Discounts for Data, the Ninth Circuit Decision, and What Comes Next

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

June 30, 2016

5G: What’s Next in Wireless

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

More Events & Presentations by Doug Brake

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