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.