Jun 12

Past Event

Accelerating the Mobile Technology Revolution

A conversation with AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson and Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)



  • FCC Spectrum Auction Requires Incentives

    Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO, AT&T and Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.): Agree that the FCC spectrum auction has to be a complete package with the right incentives to get the right mix of buyers and sellers at the table.

  • Internet Provides Global Opportunities for Development

    Randall Stephenson, Chairman and CEO, AT&T: Increased online spectrum offers incredible opportunities in international development, healthcare and education around the globe. The potential that accessibility carries is world-changing and a huge deal.

  • Spectrum is a Valuable National Security Resource

    Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.): Bandwidth and spectrum use need to be efficiently used. It’s a huge and valuable resource for the government, national security and consumers alike.


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Corporate lobbyists, members of Congress, academics and others have spent months debating how to structure the auction for broadband spectrum that will take place next year. How can the public and private sectors stimulate innovation and investment in mobile technology?

On June 12, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a forum on the revolution in mobile technology.  AT&T CEO and Chairman Randall Stephenson joined Senator Mark Pryor to discuss policy issues that must be addressed if the United States is to create an environment where mobile innovation can thrive. Darrell M. West moderated the discussion.

Panelists said they hope the Federal Communications Commission will carefully structure the broadband spectrum auction to include incentives that will encourage both buyers and sellers to come to market.

Other event highlights included:

  • Stephenson said a government policy aimed at selecting “winners and losers” in the auction for broadband spectrum would be futile in an industry as fast-moving as mobile technology.
  • Pryor called on stakeholders to find a more efficient way to use bandwidth and broadband spectrum given that it is a valuable, limited resource and can be used for a wide variety of services.
  • Commenting on the recently revealed NSA data mining programs, Stephenson said he wants consumers to have a high degree of trust in the privacy of their data, particularly given society’s heavy dependence on mobile technology. He also noted that AT&T complies with the law, including all court orders and requests for subpoenas.
  • Stephenson noted that the U.S. auction could ultimately serve as a model for developing countries working to expand their mobile industries.

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Event Agenda


June 12, 2013

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM EDT

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorum

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications