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Jon Peha - Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, PA, US

Jon Peha

Professor | Carnegie Mellon University


Jon Peha's research addresses social and policy issues around the evolution of computer and telecommunications networks.


Jon Peha has addressed information networks from positions in industry, government and academia. In government, he served at the Federal Communications Commission as chief technologist, in the White House as assistant director of the Office of Science & Technology Policy, in the House Energy & Commerce Committee and at USAID where he helped launch and lead a U.S. Government interagency program to assist developing countries with information infrastructure. His research addresses social and policy issues around evolution of computer and telecommunications networks. One such area is wireless systems: new spectrum policies can expand creation of valuable new wireless products and services. Another area of wireless research concerns the communications systems used by emergency responders such as firefighters, paramedics and police. His research interests also include broadband networks and policies intended to promote fair and open competition such as “network neutrality,” universal service policies intended to help underserved communities and individuals (in both developed and developing countries), policies intended to advance security or privacy and surveillance polices that must both help law enforcement and intelligence agencies do their jobs and protect the privacy and security of individuals and organizations.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Security and Privacy Economics

Technical Innovation

Network Security

Connected Vehicles

Internet of Things (IoT)

Usability and Human Behavior

Systems Security

Media Appearances (5)

What Are Broadband Labels and Are They Useful?

Govenment Technologies  online


According to Jon Peha, professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, consumers want more information to make an informed choice. At least, that’s what a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon’s CyLab Security and Privacy Institute found. Peha, a co-author of the study and former chief technologist for the FCC, said, “There are a lot of people on both sides of this argument, who have been discussing what consumers need, but nobody has asked consumers in a rigorous kind of way. So, we launched this study, which I believe is the first large-scale study to find out what consumers really want.”

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The Verdict Is In on Elizabeth Holmes

The New York Times  online


More spectrum fights are on the way. While the Federal Communications Commission doles out wireless frequencies, industry regulators like the F.A.A. get a lot of say in how those frequencies are used. When there is a conflict, regulators are not required to come up with a joint solution. “There isn’t a year without a dozen spectrum fights,” said Jon Peha, a Carnegie Mellon professor and a former F.C.C. official. “It will continue until the underlying broken process is fixed.”

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Internet performance during COVID not as great as many say, study shows

CyLab  online


“While downstream Internet performance did not suffer much, upstream did,” says Jon Peha, a professor in Carnegie Mellon’s department of Engineering and Public Policy and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering who formerly served as the FCC’s Chief Technologist. “Our findings contradict what the industry is saying.”

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Cable Firms Fear Being Left in Dust in Biden Broadband Quest

Bloomberg  online


Jon Peha, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said complaints about upload speeds soared during the pandemic. “Upstream is critical if you’re working or taking classes from home,” Peha said in an email. “We found that after the pandemic hit, downstream speed stayed about the same but upstream speed was significantly degraded, and consumer complaints about speed tripled.”

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So We’re Working From Home. Can the Internet Handle It?

The New York Times  online


Jon Peha, a professor of electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and a former chief technology officer of the F.C.C., said he was grappling with how to conduct online lectures from his Pittsburgh home because the campus has shut down in the face of the virus.

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Jon Peha: Enhancing Wireless Service by Ending Spectrum Scarcity Jon Peha: Improving Communications Systems for Emergencies Jon Peha: Connected Vehicles and Intelligent Transportation Systems



Industry Expertise (2)

Computer/Network Security

Public Policy

Education (3)

Stanford University: M.S., Electrical Engineering 1991

Stanford University:: Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, minor in Computer Science 1986

Brown University: B.Sc./B.A, Engineering/Computer Science 1984

Articles (5)

Targeted advertisements and incentive for market consolidation in next-generation TV

Journal of Digital Media & Policy

2022 The next-generation television (TV) standard will give over-the-air (OTA) broadcasters the ability to target advertisements. This could give a competitive advantage to broadcasters with more channels and hence create incentive for consolidation. Consolidation in the OTA TV industry could concern policy-makers. We construct a model to estimate revenues and costs of targeted advertising and derive profit-maximizing strategies. We find that profit is maximized by sending targeted advertisements via fixed broadband, even on devices that are watched for only a few minutes per week, but until costs drop significantly, not via mobile broadband in most cases.

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Lessons from internet use and performance during COVID-19

Journal of Information Policy

2021 When COVID-19 hit, many people began working, going to school, and living much of their lives from home. The Internet was a gateway to the world. This article uses data from Internet speed tests, consumer complaints, search engine optimization tools, and logs of Internet use from public libraries to understand the effects of the pandemic on Internet use and performance. Despite reports that the Internet handled the surge in traffic well, we find that complaints about Internet speed nearly tripled, and performance was degraded. Downstream data rates changed little, but median upstream data rates at midday dropped by about a third. When discussing Internet performance, people typically focus on downstream.

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Impact of the propagation model on the capacity in small-cell networks: Comparison between the UHF/SHF and the millimeter wavebands

Radio Science

2021 This work shows how both frequency and the election of path loss model affect estimated spectral efficiency. Six different frequency bands are considered, ranging from 2.6 GHz in the ultra high frequency (UHF) band to 73 GHz in the millimeter wave bands (mmWaves), using both single-slope and two-slope path-loss models. We start by comparing four urban path loss models for UHF: the urban/vehicular and pedestrian test environment from the ITU-R M. 1255 Report, which includes the two-slope urban micro line-of-sight (LoS) and NLoS, from the ITU-R 2135 Report. Then, we consider mmWaves taking into consideration the modified Friis propagation model, followed by an analysis of the throughput for the 2.6, 3.5, 28, 38, 60, and 73 GHz frequency bands.

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Cost benefit analysis: Evaluation among the millimetre wavebands and SHF bands of small cell 5G networks

International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering

2020 This article discusses the benefit cost analysis aspects of millimetre wavebands (mmWaves) and Super High Frequency (SHF). The devaluation along the distance of the carrier-to-noiseplus-interference ratio with the coverage distance is assessed by considering two different path loss models, the two-slope urban micro Line-of-Sight (UMiLoS) for the SHF band and the modified Friis propagation model, for frequencies above 24 GHz. The equivalent supported throughput is estimated at the 5.62, 28, 38, 60 and 73 GHz frequency bands and the influence of carrier-to-noiseplus-interference ratio in the radio and network optimization process is explored.

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A collaboratively derived international research agenda on legislative science advice

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications

2019 The quantity and complexity of scientific and technological information provided to policymakers have been on the rise for decades. Yet little is known about how to provide science advice to legislatures, even though scientific information is widely acknowledged as valuable for decision-making in many policy domains. We asked academics, science advisers, and policymakers from both developed and developing nations to identify, review and refine, and then rank the most pressing research questions on legislative science advice (LSA). Experts generally agree that the state of evidence is poor, especially regarding developing and lower-middle income countries.

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