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.