Harold Furchgott-Roth on mmWave and Economics in Policy Making

Harold Furchgott-Roth is the only PhD economist to serve as an FCC commissioner. His tenure ran from 1997-2001, when President Clinton’s nominee Bill Kennard served as chairman.

This was a momentous time for the FCC, as Congress had just passed the 1996 Telecommunications Act, a law that changed the role of the FCC and sought to create competition for local telephone service and to stimulate the use of digital data networks. As one of the key Congressional staffers that wrote the ‘96 act, Furchgott-Roth was in a unique position to ensure that the FCC adhered to its spirit.

Since leaving the FCC, Furchgott-Roth has been a Visiting Fellow at AEI, the founder of an economics consulting company, and director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for the Economics of the Internet. His book A Tough Act to Follow?: The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Separation of Powers Failure is a must-read on the perils of the concentration of power in regulatory agencies.

In this podcast, Furchgott-Roth discusses the book, his roles in Congress and at the FCC, the current controversy over 5G mmWave interference, and the role of the World Radio Conference in setting standards for spectrum use around the world.