Feb. 11, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Refreshing Ideas for Spectrum Auctions | Commentary

“All good deliberations must come to an end,” she explained in calling for a traditional auction of 65 MHz of spectrum in the third quarter of 2014 and the larger incentive auction in the fourth quarter. To make that happen, she said a “bandplan” for assembling the auctioned spectrum must be in place by the third quarter of this year. She has proposed a new approach for spectrum now in the hands of federal government agencies, which control approximately 60 percent of the critical asset.

There’s wide agreement that much of the spectrum in the hands of government agencies must be made available for consumer wireless services — either through sharing or transfer. But federal agencies don’t like to give up assets, making reallocation hard. Rosenworcel suggests devising incentives to “reward authorities for efficient use of their spectrum so they see benefit in commercial reallocation and not just loss.”

Her open-minded approach is a refreshing contrast to others who may at times appear to tailor facts to fit a desired outcome. She suggests a path for reasoned analysis to prevail so that the FCC ultimately gives every service provider a fair opportunity to acquire the spectrum it needs to satisfy consumers and keep America the world leader in wireless.

Rick Boucher represented Virginia for 28 years in the House, co-founded the Congressional Internet Caucus and chaired the Energy Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. He is honorary chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance and head of the government strategies practice at Sidley Austin, which has mobile service providers as clients.

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