Jun 15

Past Event

Improving Spectrum Access Through Reverse Auctions

Event Materials


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Demand for mobile broadband will soon outpace the amount of available wireless spectrum. In its national broadband plan, the Federal Communication Commission called for 500 megahertz of new wireless spectrum, 300 megahertz of which, the FCC specified, should be freed up within the next five years. Despite government and industry recognition of the coming spectrum crisis, a number of the reforms needed to increase wireless broadband capacity remain unfinished and unaddressed. Reverse government auctions have been identified as the most expedient and cost-effective way to combat this imminent crisis, but what are the implementation and transactional challenges associated with this policy move? What are the merits of reverse auctions versus other spectrum policy ideas?

On June 15, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum on broadening spectrum access in the United States through reverse government auctions. Moderated by Governance Studies Director Darrell West, a panel of experts discussed the coming spectrum shortage and which policy levers should be used to alleviate it.

After the program, panelists took audience questions.

Event Agenda

  • Featured Speaker

    • Thomas C. Power

      Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Telecommunications, Office of Science & Technology Policy

      Executive Office of the President

  • Panel

    • Moderator

      Portrait: Darrell West

      Darrell M. West

      Vice President and Director, Governance Studies

      Founding Director, Center for Technology Innovation

    • Chris Guttman-McCabe

      Vice President, Regulatory Affairs


    • Thomas Hazlett

      Professor, Law & Economics; Director, Information Economy Project

      George Mason University School of Law

    • Peter Pitsch

      Executive Director, Communications; Associate General Counsel

      Intel Corporation

    • Mark Fratrik

      Vice President and Chief Economist



June 15, 2012

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications