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Joe Kane


Director, Broadband and Spectrum Policy

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @thejoekane

Joe Kane is director of broadband and spectrum policy at ITIF. Previously, he was a technology policy fellow at the R Street Institute, where he covered spectrum policy, broadband deployment and regulation, competition, and consumer protection. Earlier, Joe was a graduate research fellow at the Mercatus Center, where he worked on Internet policy issues, telecom regulation, and the role of the FCC.

Joe interned in the office of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. He also interned with the satellite and terrestrial network provider SES, the Satellite Industry Association, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the American Action Forum. Joe holds a J.D. from The Catholic University of America, a master’s in economics from George Mason University, and a bachelor’s in political science from Grove City College.

Research Areas

Recent Publications

March 13, 2023

Comments to OMB Regarding Guidance for Grants and Agreements: Build America, Buy America Act

Rather than fixating on Build America Buy America Act (BABA) mandates at the expense of the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program’s more central goals, Office of Management and Budget should adopt guidance that recognizes the unique situation of broadband components and allows BABA mandates adapted to provide waivers as necessary to connect Americans to high-speed broadband as soon as possible.

February 27, 2023

Filling Gaps in US Spectrum Allocation: Reforms for Collaborative Management

Interrelated gaps and failures in the process and policies used to efficiently allocate spectrum demand comprehensive reform. To prevent future failures, policymakers must improve device performance, increase data gathering and sharing, and clarify the spectrum allocation process.

February 21, 2023

Comments to the FCC Regarding Implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Prevention and Elimination of Digital Discrimination

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could be the biggest step toward closing the geographic digital divide ever. The Commission should keep its eye on that goal and not give in to calls to stray from the statutory text to claim sweeping new power over broadband deployment. Here, the statutory text unambiguously permits only a disparate-treatment definition of digital discrimination. Independently and in the alternative, the Commission must closely scrutinize claims based on disparate impact claims to ensure that the threat of litigation does not perversely delay and diminish efforts to connect all Americans.

January 30, 2023

Building on Uncle Sam’s “Beachfront” Spectrum: Six Ways to Align Incentives to Make Better Use of the Airwaves

The federal government controls large swaths of the electromagnetic spectrum, but the current system for managing it lacks effective ways to incentivize agencies to use it efficiently. Congress and the Biden administration should promote good stewardship of spectrum and better enable it to power both federal missions and the commercial wireless ecosystem.

January 11, 2023

Broadband Myths: Is U.S. Broadband Service Slow?

Critics argue U.S. broadband speeds are slow and the country’s broadband system overall is poor, but U.S. speeds actually are fast and outpace everyday demands. Focusing too much attention on speed simply diverts resources that otherwise could be used to close the digital divide.

December 5, 2022

Comments to the FCC Regarding Use of Radar Devices in the 60-64 GHz Band

Making productive use of spectrum is central to the FCC’s purpose and goals. It has an opportunity to increase the productivity of the 60-64 GHz band by permitting airborne radar devices to operate near ground level. Specifically, it should seek a technical arrangement that permits the maximum commercial use of this band while also protecting the federal interest in the Earth Exploration Satellite Service.

December 5, 2022

No More Fiber to Nowhere

Closing the digital divide takes money, and the federal government has lots of it, but sinking $45 billion into remote fiber optic cables would be a waste of money that will leave more pressing broadband priorities underfunded.

December 5, 2022

The State of US Broadband in 2022: Reassessing the Whole Picture

In absolute terms, the United States is among the world’s leaders in deploying fast broadband, and it does so at competitive prices. But there is room for improvement on broadband adoption.

November 7, 2022

Consumers Are the Ones Who End Up Paying for Sending-Party-Pays Mandates

Policymakers in some nations want edge companies such as Netflix to pay a larger share of broadband infrastructure costs. These “sending-party-pays” policies would harm Internet users, disproportionately tax U.S. tech companies, and fail to deliver infrastructure improvements.

September 26, 2022

Why We Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Spectrum Windfalls

Many attempts to increase the flexibility of wireless spectrum rights meet objections that the method of reallocation will result in a windfall for corporate license holders. Far from being objectionable, however, allowing windfalls in spectrum reallocation creates virtuous incentives.

September 23, 2022

Congress Should Prioritize the Affordable Connectivity Program for Broadband Funding

The recent dramatic sea change in broadband funding must come with a shift in priorities as policymakers continue efforts to close the digital divide.

September 15, 2022

Biden Blueprint Misses the Mark on Broadband Prices

The administration’s promise of substantially lower prices through more competition takes a shortsighted and localized view of broadband competition that is more calculated to score political points against unpopular corporations than to improve everyday Americans’ broadband service.

More publications by Joe Kane

Recent Events and Presentations

March 20, 2023

U.S. Spectrum Allocation Needs Reform: Lessons From the C-Band Controversy

Join ITIF and Eno for a discussion on what the spectrum allocation process looks like, where it falters, and how to reform spectrum allocation to promote long-term safety and productivity. Food and beverages will be provided to all in-person attendees.

November 14, 2022

Building the Pipeline: Auction Authority and Spectrum Allocation in the United States

Joe Kane joins a panel speaking on what is being done to ensure spectrum is put to its best and highest use, and if there is enough spectrum to keep pace with demand and innovation.

September 27, 2022

“Digital Discrimination” Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Joe Kane, Director of Broadband and Spectrum Policy at ITIF, moderated a discussion on the FCC’s ongoing efforts to effectuate this portion of the statute and how policymakers can best achieve the goal of equitable broadband deployment.

June 28, 2022

How 5G Can Spur Climate Tech Innovation

Watch the discussion surrounding the potential climate tech applications of 5G and what is needed going forward to help ensure that this critical infrastructure can facilitate the low-carbon transition.

June 14, 2022

How States Can Make the Most of Broadband Funding

View ITIF's event that explored how state-broadband funding is progressing, and how stakeholders are working to take advantage of the opportunities and address the challenges that come with it.

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