Friday, December 11, 2009 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Transcript of PFF Event on Broadcast Spectrum Reallocation

PFF has just released the transcript of an excellent panel discussion I moderated last week entitled, "Let's Make a Deal: Broadcasters, Mobile Broadband, and a Market in Spectrum." As I've mentioned here before, one of the hottest issues in DC right now is the question of broadcast TV spectrum reallocation. Blair Levin, who serves as the Executive Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative at the Federal Communications Commission, recently raised the possibility of reallocating a portion of broadcast television spectrum for alternative purposes, namely, mobile broadband. Such a "cash-for-spectrum" swap would give mobile broadband providers to spectrum they need to roll out next generation wireless broadband networks while making sure broadcaster receive compensation for any spectrum they hand over. The FCC just recently released a public notice on "Data Sought on Users of Spectrum," (NBP Public Notice # 26) that looks into the matter. "This inquiry," the agency says," takes into account the value that the United States puts on free, over-the-air television, while also exploring market-based mechanisms for television broadcasters to contribute to the broadband effort any spectrum in excess of that which they need to meet their public interest obligations and remain financially viable." Meanwhile, the House Energy and Commerce Communications Subcommittee is set to hold a hearing on the issue next Tuesday.

PFF's panel discussion on this issue featured an all-star cast of characters, including opening remarks by Blair Levin, and a terrific discussion ensued. [You can hear the full audio from the event here.] Down below I have highlighted some of the major points each speaker made during the discussion and also embedded the complete transcript in a Scribd reader. Also, just a reminder that my PFF colleague Barbara Esbin and I authored a short paper on this issue recently: "An Offer They Can't Refuse: Spectrum Reallocation That Can Benefit Consumers, Broadcasters & the Mobile Broadband Sector."

Transcript of Dec 1 PFF Event on Broadcaster TV Spectrum Reallocation [PFF - Thierer]

posted by Adam Thierer @ 11:10 AM | Mass Media , Media Regulation , Spectrum , The FCC