TPI Senior Fellow and President Emeritus Thomas M. Lenard Submits Comments on the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council Spectrum Policy Recommendations
Comments emphasize a flexible, market-based system for spectrum allocation
January 31, 2018 – Thomas M. Lenard, Senior Fellow and President Emeritus of the Technology Policy Institute (TPI) today submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Technological Advisory Council on their Spectrum Policy Recommendations. The Technical Advisory Council (TAC) is seeking ways to manage and mitigate spectrum interference and held a 60-day open public comment period to seek input on its proposed policy recommendations. In his comments, Dr. Lenard argues that flexible, market-based approaches to spectrum allocation are in the best interests of both the U.S. economy as well as for American consumers.
“The central problem in the management of spectrum is interference, which the TAC policy recommendations are designed to address,” Dr. Lenard states. “We would expect a flexible, market-based system to provide the best incentives to address interference problems in a cost-effective manner and to promote efficient use of the spectrum.”
Dr. Lenard further states that, “while mitigating interference and its effects in real time is a technological issue, truly dealing with the problem in a longer-term, more robust way requires thinking about it as an economics and incentives problem.” He argues that spectrum policy should maximize the value or net social benefits of spectrum use, which generally involves minimizing the sum of relevant spectrum-related costs. “Although not stated in those terms, the TAC’s spectrum policy recommendations generally appear to be guided by a cost-benefit balancing framework that would minimize interference-related costs.” Several of the TAC principles, for example, focus on the shared role of transmitters and receivers, which is important for addressing interference problems in a cost-effective manner. Another TAC principle cautions that the benefits will not realistically outweigh the costs of mitigating service degradation from exceptional events.
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