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Confronting the Looming Shortage of Wireless Spectrum: A Federal Technology Policy Imperative

Recent research finds that demand for mobile broadband could outpace the amount of available wireless spectrum in three years. 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.

On October 20, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum on the U.S. wireless spectrum and its role in advancing mobile technology growth and innovation. Moderated by Governance Studies Director Darrell West, a panel of government, industry and academic experts discussed how to best allocate the wireless spectrum, what the government’s role should be in the expansion process and how to balance various stakeholders’ interests in their pursuit for additional bandwidth.

After the program, panelists took audience questions.



Featured Panelists


Ruth Milkman

Bureau Chief, The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau


Moderator: Phil Weiser

Senior Advisor to the Director for Technology and Innovation, National Economic Council, The White House


Steve Sharkey

Chief of Engineering and Technology Policy, T-Mobile USA Inc.

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