Brent Skorup

Brent Skorup

  • Research Fellow

Brent Skorup is a research fellow in the Technology Policy Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. His research topics include wireless policy, new media regulation, antitrust, and telecommunications.

He has authored pieces for law reviews, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, WIRED, Re/code, and elsewhere. He has provided expert commentary for news outlets including C-SPAN, CNN Money, The Washington Post, and Buzzfeed.

Brent has a BA in economics from Wheaton College and a JD from the George Mason University School of Law. He was formerly the Director of Research at the Information Economy Project, a law and economics research center.

Published Research

Adam Thierer, Brent Skorup | Apr 29, 2014
The television distribution marketplace has been substantially regulated since the advent of broadcast television in the 1940s and 1950s. The Federal Communications Commission and Congress have relied on several justifications for the regulatory protection of the system of local broadcasters envisioned post–World War II, namely, (1) universal service, (2) localism, (3) free television, and (4) competition.
Brent Skorup | Jan 01, 2014
Describing the U.S. system of spectrum allocation, former Federal Communications Commission officials Gerald Faulhaber and David Farber have written, “[the] current system is similar to that of the former Soviet Union’s GOSPLAn agency, which allocated scarce resources by administrative fiat at among factories and other producers in the Soviet economy.” the U.S. spectrum regulatory framework, still largely intact since 1927, severely distorts the 21st century technology industry and harms consumers with higher prices and lack of choice.
Brent Skorup | Jan 01, 2014
As in many countries, the U.S. government possesses a majority of the most valuable radio spectrum and pays virtually nothing for this natural resource. Audits by the Government Accountability Office and independent groups have made clear that federal spectrum is used ineffectively and that reforms are long overdue.
Brent Skorup | Oct 01, 2013
With the popularity of smartphones, tablets, Wi-Fi, and other wireless devices that require as an input transmissions over radio spectrum, the rising demand for bandwidth is rapidly using up the available supply of spectrum. Spectrum demand increases significantly every year with no end in sight, yet the “greenfields” of available and unallocated spectrum are gone.

Working Papers

Testimony & Comments

Brent Skorup | Sep 15, 2014
Though an effective rallying cry, there is no consensus about what “net neutrality” or the “open Internet” means when it comes to putting rules on paper. Professor Barbara van Schewick has said, “If there is no rule against blocking in a proposal, it’s not a network neutrality proposal.
Brent Skorup | Jul 24, 2014
From time to time the FCC must reexamine the justifications for its rules. In light of the many industry changes since these rules were promulgated, the FCC should repeal these rules and others. The FCC cannot fix all of the regulatory distortions in the video marketplace, but repealing network nonduplication and syndicated exclusivity rules is an excellent first step.
Brent Skorup | Jun 20, 2014
Notwithstanding the DACA recommendations for a reconstituted communications competition agency, Congress should also consider alternatives such as abolishing the FCC entirely and relying on antitrust agencies or merging the FCC’s responsibilities with the Federal Trade Commission.
Brent Skorup | Apr 25, 2014
Former senior Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officials Gerald Faulhaber and David Farber noted without irony that US spectrum policy resembles GOSPLAN, the Soviet planning agency that distributed scarce inputs to producers in every sector of the Soviet economy. The woeful inefficiencies and waste resulting from the current system of regulatory allocation are predictable, yet avoidable.

Expert Commentary

Nov 10, 2014

It does not require a law degree to question the wisdom of imposing eighty-year-old rules intended for the government-blessed monopoly telephone network on the competitive, dynamic Internet.
Oct 06, 2014

Though the economy has improved only in fits and starts over the past few years, one bright spot remains constant: The technology and communications industry. Part of this success is because Silicon Valley and the tech sector aggressively develop popular consumer products before bureaucrats and lawmakers have time to delay them.
Sep 30, 2014

Today’s announcement that the Federal Communication Commission is ending its sports blackout rule after nearly 40 years is a step in the right direction, according to Brent Skorup, a research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Skorup says that overturning these rules will make media companies freer to respond to consumer demands and changing viewing technologies.
Aug 22, 2014

On the heels of more than 1.1 million Americans recently submitting comments to the Federal Communications Commission on Internet openness, the FCC has announced that it will hold a series of "open Internet roundtable discussions" with the aim of clarifying to what extent communications law should be reinterpreted.
' '