After two years of federal government service at the Federal Communications Commission and National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Professor Doug Sicker has returned to CU-Boulder as director of the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program. He served as chief technologist at the FCC from 2010 to 2011, and as chief technology officer and senior advisor for NTIA’s Office of Spectrum Management the following year.
Sicker’s depth of understanding in telecommunications policy and technology—along with that of other ITP faculty—are keeping the program at the leading edge in research and education. The ITP’s current research thrusts are in the technical and economic implications of broadband, changing wireless architectures, and wireless broadband for public safety.
Sicker expects to see a continuing trend of more networked devices, leading to the concept of an “Internet of things,” along with orders-of-magnitude growth in wireless devices used by individuals and organizations. “All of these collective and interdependent networks and devices will require security to ensure that services are authenticated, authorized, and legitimate, providing privacy that’s needed and demanded by the users,” he says.
“As the network evolves and we see computational devices becoming richer and more capable, we’ll also see the concept of software-defined networks emerge, whereby the network will adapt and consider customer needs continually and in real time,” he adds.
This will require a change not only in how to design and deploy these networks, but how we educate telecom specialists and leaders, according to Sicker. “This is an area that is keenly on our radar and reflected in updated and new courses we are incorporating into our curriculum.”