Upcoming Events


Monthly Virtual Seminars

The webinars are co-sponsored bythe International Media Management Academic Association (IMMAA) and the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI).

Forthcoming Speakers:

December , 2022, 11am-12pm

CITI-IMMAA Seminar: TBA

January 5, 2023, 11am-12pm

CITI-IMMAA Seminar: TBA

February 2, 2023, 11am-12pm

CITI-IMMAA Seminar: TBA

March 2, 2023, 11am-12pm

CITI-IMMAA Seminar: TBA

April 6, 2023, 11am-12pm

CITI-IMMAA Seminar: TBA

May 4, 2023, 11am-12pm

CITI-IMMAA Seminar: TBA

Additional Speakers will be announced shortly.


November 17, 2022

Internet Fragmentation, Reconsidered

Register at: https://internetfragmentation.eventbrite.com 

What exactly does “Internet fragmentation” really mean, and how does the way we define and conceptualize the term affect the lines of action undertaken in response?  A diversity of views is evident in the burgeoning global debate and growing number of pronouncements by states and stakeholders on Internet fragmentation.    For example, some participants in the debates take a broad approach and see fragmentation as having technical, commercial and governmental sources and forms, which implies that actions may be needed in each of those domains. Others take a narrow approach that equates fragmentation with only government policy, which means the only attention needed is to that domain.  Some participants see fragmentation as a continuously present condition that varies in form, intensity and impact over time and across domains of activity and the protocol stack, while others see it more in a totalized and binary manner – either the Internet is structurally fragmented at the root, or it is not fragmented at all. Some participants believe that mere differences in public policy orientation across countries or regions mean we now have multiple incompatible Internets, while others counter that such differences are simply a matter of there being one Internet with different zones of governance.  And some participants believe fragmentation is a threat that requires concerted responses and new strategies, while others see it as a matter of difficulties that can be overcome, or even as a natural and unproblematic phenomenon.  And so on --- there are many sources of difference in perspective about how fragmentation is understood and what sorts of actions by whom should be taken in consequence.

This webinar seeks to help advance our thinking about these foundational questions.  A panel of leading analysts and practitioners in the global Internet governance environment will discuss such topics as the nature, sources, forms, and consequences of Internet fragmentation, as well as the responses pursued by governments and stakeholders to date and going forward. 

(On November 28 at 9:00 EDT / 14:00 UTC a follow-up session on these issues will be held as part of the UN’s annual Internet Governance Forum meeting in Addis Abada, where fragmentation will be an overarching thematic issue.   https://intgovforum.org/en/content/igf-2022-day-0-event-68-understanding-internet-fragmentation-concepts-and-their)

Moderator

William J. Drake, Director of International Studies at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information 

Roundtable Panelists

Vinton G. Cerf, Vice President and chief Internet evangelist, Google

Eli M. Noam, Director, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information and Professor of Finance and Economics, Columbia Business School

Andrew Sullivan, President and CEO of the Internet Society 

Tatiana Tropina, Assistant Professor in Cybersecurity Governance, Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University, Netherlands

January 19, 2023

Whither the Internet Governance Forum?



Recent Events

September 8, 2022, 11am-12pm
Raul Katz, Director of Business Strategy, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information

"Quotas vs. Incentives for the Development of Domestic Audiovisual Production? An Economic Impact Assessment"

This seminar reported empirical evidence on the impact of title quotas as well as production incentives on the development of domestic audiovisual content. 

Governments seek to encourage domestic audiovisual production to preserve and promote their cultural heritage, boost economic growth by developing the audiovisual industry, and leverage comparative advantage in creative industries, thereby increasing national competitiveness. In order to achieve these goals, authorities implement policies around two main policy domains: (i) incentives for the development of a domestic audiovisual production industry (including tax exemptions, cash rebates, financing opportunities, public-private investment in production studios), and (ii) the imposition of domestic content distribution quotas (i.e., a screen quota on free-to-air broadcasting, or quota in catalogs of OTT services).

The empirical evidence shows that title quotas have not contributed to the development of domestic audiovisual content. The increasing ‘localization’ of the OTT platform catalogs across the world is mainly due to the ongoing competition between operators to meet audience demand. Furthermore, government incentives given to the audiovisual industry, such as tax exemptions, financing opportunities and cash rebates, have positively complemented natural market trends, contributing to an increase in domestic production and the subsequent creation of jobs within the sector.

Dr. Raul Katz is the Director of Business Strategy Research at the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information at Columbia Business School (New York), and President of Telecom Advisory Services. He holds a PhD in in Political Science and Management Science and MS in Communication Technologies and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Maitrise and Licence in Communications Sciences from the University of Paris; Maitrise in Political Science from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. Dr. Katz worked with Booz Allen & Hamilton for 20 years, where he was Head of the US and Latin America Telecommunication Practices and a member of the firm’s Leadership Team.

July 7, 2022, 11am-12pm
Robert Picard, Senior Research Fellow, Reuters Institute, University of Oxford

"Big Digital Tech and the International Application on Competition Law"

The seminar explored the increasing application of national and regional competition law worldwide to large digital tech platforms and service providers and where those efforts may be taking digital regulation and affecting company practices and structures.

The application of competition law is focusing on how business practices combine with the size of firms, their control of resources, services to harming competitors and business and general consumers. It discussed remedies being sought to mitigate that harm.

Robert G. Picard is a specialist on media and communications economics and policy and the business challenges facing media in the digital age.

A professor at universities in the U.S. and Europe for 4 decades, he is a senior research fellow at the Reuters Institute, University of Oxford, a fellow the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and a fellow the Royal Society of Arts. He regularly works with media companies, media associations, and governments worldwide to improve performance and respond to challenges in the media environment.

June 2, 2022
CITI Fellows: Tim Hwang

General Counsel at Substack and author of Subprime Attention Crisis, a book about the online advertising bubble. His topic will be "Online Advertising is Broken. You Won't Believe What Happens Next".

Programmatic advertising - high-speed, algorithmically-facilitated, data-driven advertising - is the cornerstone of the modern internet. But a closer look reveals that the ostensible strength of online advertising is, in reality, likely to be a mirage. This discussion explored how the modern online advertising economy works, how fragile it may be in reality, and how we might move the internet towards a more sustainable future. 

June 2, 2022, 11am-12pm
Robert McChesney, Professor of Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"The Local Journalism Initiative"

Journalism, especially at the local level, is dying. The business model that sustained it, based on advertising, has been destroyed by the Internet. No new commercial model has emerged online, and investors have abandoned the field.

This is proving to be an unmitigated disaster for democracy, popular participation, and accountable governance. The US constitution is predicated on there being a powerful competitive local news media for the entire governing project to survive, let alone succeed.

Slowly but surely people are recognizing this is a public policy issue, in the United States and worldwide. Fortunately, history provides the solution: public funding to create a competitive, diverse, uncensored local news media.

In this talk Professor McChesney discussed some current reform ideas, and concentrate on a plan he authored with several scholars, activists and journalists, both in the United States and worldwide: the Local Journalism Initiative (LJI). 

If adopted, the LJI would solve the journalism problem and open the door to a society that could effectively address, debate and, to the extent it is possible, resolve the great existential issues facing the United State and other countries and our species. It would provide a death blow to fascism, before fascism can destroy us.

May 19, 2022
Global Online Platforms: Free Flow vs. Domestic Culture: Day 2

Around the world, the proliferation and penetration of streaming video systems challenges the role of traditional broadcasters and multichannel TV providers. Viewers can pick content directly from anywhere– a great opening. But the dominance of several major platforms also puts pressure on national production and distribution system, and to new forms of gatekeepers -- a great narrowing. The emerging video system thus brings into conflict two important societal and economic values: the free access by and to media, information, and creativity on the one hand, and the preservation of domestic content and culture on the other hand.  With the cost per mile of transmission near zero, distance has ceased to be a barrier against overseas providers.  This enables platforms and products of one or a few countries to dominate worldwide. In addition, different countries have different perspectives and traditions on what kind content is acceptable. In such an environment, sharp clashes of business, politics, technology, and culture are inevitable. It has led to national and regional initiatives which, in the aggregate, create a restrictive media environment. It is therefore necessary to establish a balanced approach to domestic cultural diversity and international free flows that is sensitive to the multiple concerns. 

To analyze and discuss this, the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information is holding a 2-day conference on April 14th 2022 and May 19th 2022 which seeks to bring together thought leaders, policymakers, industry players, and others.

Day 2 Agenda:

10:00-10:10am EDT Welcome and Introduction

  • Eli Noam, Paul Garrett Chair in Public Policy and Business Responsibility, Columbia Business School

10:10-10:30am EDT National Culture

  • Milton Mueller, Professor and Program Director, School of Public Policy, Georgia Tech

10:30-11:20am EDT Options to Support National Culture in the Online TV Environment, and Their Effectiveness

  • Eli Noam, Paul Garrett Chair in Public Policy and Business Responsibility, Columbia Business School (Moderator)
  • Mira Burri, Professor of International Economic and Internet Law, University or Lucerne (Switzerland)
  • Nicolas R. Prince, Assistant Professor of Management, University of Wyoming
  • Jimmyn Parc, Visiting Lecturar, Sciences Po Paris and Associated Researcher, Seoul National University

11:20-12:15pm EDT Media Industry Prospective

  • Carolina Lorenzon, Mediaset (Moderator)
  • Egbert Schram, Group CEO Hofstede Insights
  • Naoki Ishizaka, Dentsu
  • Globo Representative (tentative)

12:15-12:35pm EDT Views on Domestic Culture (tentative)

  • Marcello Foa, former President of Rai (Italy)

12:35pm-12:55pm EDT Policymakers Prospective

  • Reed Hundt, Former FCC Chairman

12:55-1:00pm Conclusions

  • Eli Noam, Paul Garrett Chair in Public Policy and Business Responsibility, Columbia Business School

May 5, 2022, 11am-12pm
Thomas Hess, Professor of Information Systems & Management; Director, Institute for Digital Management and New Media, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

"Digital Paywalls"

Hess has observed that digitalization has exacerbated the monetization of news content, such that changing consumption behavior of readers and insufficient digital advertising revenues have pushed news publishers to increase direct revenue generation in the digital environment. News publishers commonly implement digital paywalls based on freemium models, restricting free content offerings in terms of either choice (premium paywall) or quantity (metered paywall). Although research on information systems, marketing, and media management has intensively investigated the consequences of digital paywalls on news websites, the content monetization dilemma still does not seem to be solved. 

This talk therefore provided an overview of three central digital paywall research streams: (1) offering free content, paid content, or both; (2) consequences of introducing a digital paywall; and (3) the impact of the digital paywall configuration on user behavior. The talk concludes with questions that needs to be addressed in future research.

May 2, 2022
CITI Fellows: Shane Greenstein

Martin Marshall Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Shane presented findings from his latest paper, "Where the Cloud Rests: The Economic Geography of Data Centers.

This study provides an analysis of the entry strategies of third-party data centers in the United States. Shane will share two observations from the evidence: 

1) Technical change is urban-biased because providers of third-party data centers trade off the tensions between buyer demand for proximity and costs of supply, which vary with density; and

2) Localized demand and economies of scale shape entry decisions.

April 14, 2022, 10am-1:20pm
CITI Global Online Platforms: Free Access & Free Trade vs. Domestic Culture: Day 1

Around the world, the proliferation and penetration of streaming video systems challenges the role of traditional broadcasters and multichannel TV providers. Viewers can pick content directly from anywhere– a great opening. But the dominance of several major platforms also puts pressure on national production and distribution system, and to new forms of gatekeepers -- a great narrowing. The emerging video system thus brings into conflict two important societal and economic values: the free access by and to media, information, and creativity on the one hand, and the preservation of domestic content and culture on the other hand. With the cost per mile of transmission near zero, distance has ceased to be a barrier against overseas providers. This enables platforms and products of one or a few countries to dominate worldwide. In addition, different countries have different perspectives and traditions on what kind content is acceptable. In such an environment, sharp clashes of business, politics, technology, and culture are inevitable. It has led to national and regional initiatives which, in the aggregate, create a restrictive media environment. It is therefore necessary to establish a balanced approach to domestic cultural diversity and international free flows that is sensitive to the multiple concerns.

AGENDA

10:00-10:30am EDT Background and Introduction

  • Eli Noam, Paul Garrett Chair in Public Policy and Business Responsibility, Columbia Business School
  • William Dutton, Emeritus Director, Oxford Internet Institute

10:30-11:20am EDT The Market Structure of Online TV Around the World

  • Jason Buckweitz, Executive Director, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information
  • Dwayne Winseck, Professor at School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University
  • Patrick-Yves Badillo, Professor, University of Genève
  • Dominique Bourgeois, Professor, University of Fribourg

11:20-12:10pm EDT The Emerging Conflicts Over Trade Rules, Regulations, and Subsidies

  • William Drake, Department of Communication and Media Research at the University of Zurich, and CITI, Columbia
  • J.P. Singh, Professor of International Commerce and Policy, Schar School of Policy and Government, at George Mason University.
  • Wendy Su, Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, University of California Riverside

12:10-1:00pm EDT The Free Flow of Content and Trade Laws(Tentative)

  • Scott Fitzgerald, Associate Professor and Discipline Lead, School of Management, Curtin Business School (Australia)
  • Tom Hazlett, Information Economy Project, Clemson University

1:00-1:10pm EDT Conclusion

  • Eli Noam, Paul Garrett Chair in Public Policy and Business Responsibility, Columbia Business School

April 4, 2022
CITI Fellows: Dan Gillmor

Technology columnist, author and co-founder of the News Co/Lab at Arizona State University, and Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, director of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) and a leading author on trade diplomacy and the digital economy, lead a discussion on market concentration in the tech sector.

The European Union is closing in on adopting the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA intends to ensure a higher degree of competition in the European Digital Markets, by preventing large companies from abusing their market power and by allowing new players to enter the market. Meanwhile, Australia was the first country in the world to introduce laws forcing technology platforms to negotiate payments with the local media industry.

March 3, 2022, 11am-12pm
John Rose, Managing Director for the Media Practice, and Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group

"Consumer Trends in Streaming Video and the Future Shape of the TV Landscape"

Rose is engaged in innovation built on big data strategy. He has led a multiyear effort with the World Economic Forum on big data and consumer information. He has also contributed an online course on digital transformation, in partnership with the University of Virginia and Coursera. 

Prior to joining BCG in 2004, John was executive vice president at the major music group EMI. At EMI, John developed and oversaw the company’s digital business, antipiracy efforts, cost restructuring, and strategic options. Before EMI, John spent almost 20 years with McKinsey, where he was a director and coleader of the global media and entertainment practice.

March 7, 2022
CITI Fellows: All-Fellows Roundtable

"What Happened in 2021" and "What's in Store for 2022?" 

What is your nominee for the policy choice or business decision taken in 2021 that has had or will have a meaningful impact on our Digital Future? 

  • The impact of the federal infrastructure broadband funding. 
  • The emergence of global censorship by social media companies 
  • Infrastructure Act investment in broadband, including unprecedented sums for digital equity/closing digital divide 
  • Actually more of a 2020 question - lockdowns and the shift to work from home - which lead to an increased focus on broadband infrastructure. 
  • EU court decisions on GDPR and data protection - impact on transAtlantic data flows
  • Sajda Qureshi - She is the Editor-in-Chief for the Information Technology for Development Journal and is likely to have great insights from the work submitted to the journal from a developing countries perspective 
  • What empirical evidence identifies the impact of the billions of dollars allocated by Congress for emergency broadband development? Will it substantially bridge the "Digital Divide," or create even greater expectations of financial incentives for service to rural/high-cost areas? 
  • Leaked documents that revealed the abuse of Pegasus, Israel spyware, for surveillance in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Hungary, and elsewhere is forcing governments to decide whether encryption and data protection are more important than surveillance. 
  • Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act 
  • Lina Khan becomes FTC Chair. 
  • Metaverse launch by Facebook.
  • Antitrust suits against tech companies.
  • The mid-band 5G auction cost carriers $81 billion without a clear business case for recovering that cost plus the necessary network equipment. Will this staggering debt bankrupt the big carriers. Are new entrants possible? 

What is your nominee for the prospective policy choice or business decision in 2022 that would have substantial implications for our Digital Future? 

  • How to reduce IT supply dependency 
  • The emerging restrictions on global video platforms 
  • The beginning of broadband planning at the state level in the U.S. 
  • Whether the FCC reclassifies BIAS and VoIP as a telecom service - most concerned about addictive nature of interfaces and the increase in surveillance technology 
  • Platform interoperability requirements if implemented in EU DSA/DMA
  • Doreen Bogdam - If she is elected the Secretary-General of the ITU she may be an important and influential person leading international tech policies 
  • Can the ITU Stay the Course? A growing list of challenges jeopardizes the ITU's legitimacy and ability to make timely, global spectrum allocations. 
  • Attempts at both the Federal and state level to alter Section 230 and force Internet platforms to severely limit content moderation. 
  • Fabric implementation 
  • Congress adopts comprehensive digital asset regulation 
  • China's efforts to outcompete Taiwan's semi-conductor capacity 
  • How will states allocate the broadband infrastructure money? Will any competition policy legislation pass?

February 7, 2022
CITI Fellows: Ariel “Eli” Levite and Marjory S. Blumenthal

"Governing the Cloud As It Shapes the Global Digital Transformation"

Our guest speakers Ariel “Eli” Levite, Senior Fellow, and Marjory S. Blumenthal, Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and International Affairs Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 

We—our companies, schools, social and civic lives, and more—depend increasingly on the infrastructure and services associated with cloud computing. What are the major categories of concern that we should track, if not worry about? How do various governments differ in their efforts to address challenges presented by the cloud while seizing on the opportunities it offers? How can public and private action combine to shape cloud governance—and what does that bode for a future with steadily more integrated information and communication technologies?

February 7, 2022
CITI Fellows: Veni Markovski, Emily Taylor, Konstantinos Komaitis

"What exactly is happening at the ITU in 2022...and does it matter?"

A panel of Veni Markovski, ICANN Vice President for UN Engagement; Emily Taylor, CEO, Oxford Information Labs and Associate Fellow, ChathamHouse, and Konstantinos Komaitis, Policy Fellow, Brave New Software Foundation.

This year will be an unusual year for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). For the first time there will be three major world conferences in a single calendar year and the United States is running a candidate for the Secretary General election for the first time in nearly four decades.  

February 3, 2022, 11am-12pm
Jaron Lanier, pioneer of virtual reality technology and applications

January 13, 2022, 11am-12pm
Vint Cerf, "Father of the Internet", and VP/ Chief Internet Evangelist, Google

Vint briefly reviewed the history and the policy issues that have arisen with the growth of the Internet and its new applications, looking ahead to the impact and implications on internet companies and others.

Columbia Business School