The expansion of wireless broadband is a bright spot in the U.S. economy, but a shortage of liberally licensed spectrum rights could put a crimp on this expansion. The freeing up of spectrum from other uses would allow greater expansion of wireless broadband and would bring substantial gains – likely in the hundreds of billions of dollars – for U.S. consumers, businesses, and the federal treasury. Developing a plan to increase the amount of spectrum for wireless broadband is a high priority of the FCC’s Omnibus Broadband Initiative, which is developing a national broadband plan. Failure to allocate sufficient spectrum will slow the rollout of broadband services, increase their prices, and cost consumers and taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. TPI has assembled a panel of experts to discuss the options.
Spectrum and Wireless
The growth of wireless broadband is a bright spot in the U.S. economy, but a shortage of flexibly licensed spectrum rights could put a crimp on this expansion, according to a new study released by the Technology Policy Institute. The study was coauthored by Thomas Lenard, president and senior fellow at TPI; Lawrence J. White, professor of economics at the NYU Stern School of Business; and James Riso, a research associate at TPI.
Technology Policy Institute president and senior fellow Thomas Lenard filed comments today with the Federal Communications Commission on its proposal to auction the 2155-2175 MHz band (AWS-3) subject to rules that would require the winner to offer a basic tier of free wireless broadband service that virtually the entire U.S. population could access. The service conditions are similar to those contained in a 2006 application by M2Z to obtain this spectrum for free.