Page 2 Progress on Point 16.27
Purpose of Discussion
Senior Fellow and Director, Center for Digital Media Freedom,
The Progress &Freedom Foundation
: Well, good morning everyone. My name is Adam Thierer and I'm thePresident of The Progress & Freedom Foundation. It's my pleasure to welcome all of you to thismorning's PFF seminar which is entitled "Let's Make a Deal: Broadcasters, Mobile Broadband,and a Market in Spectrum."The purpose of today's discussion, as our title suggests, is to take a look at the future of spectrum policy in America and, in particular, consider what the future holds for the broadcastspectrum and broadcast spectrum holders, as well as those in the mobile broadband sectorwho covet more spectrum.More specifically, we will be investigating whether the potential exists for a deal to be cutbetween some of these parties, such that broadcast spectrum might potentially be reallocatedfor some alternative uses
something that's been a hot topic of discussion here in DC, as of late, after a certain FCC official, who just happens to be with us today, suggested thatbroadcasters may want to consider some sort of a cash-for-spectrum swap.But there are many questions about any such deal, including, how would it be crafted? Would itbe truly voluntary? Would it be fair to broadcasters? How would broadcasters be compensatedfor their spectrum? Will Congress go along with the deal given the public interest questions thatare over this issue? And are there alternative approaches to how spectrum management mightwork, going forward, should any sort of reallocation occur?These are just a few of the questions we are hoping to explore here at today's session. Nowbefore I turn it over to our all-star panel, I should just mention that we've put a lot of thoughtinto this issue over the years at The Progress & Freedom Foundation. In particular, I just wantto highlight, in case you haven't seen it or read it recently, a wonderful report that we puttogether in 2006 as part of our Digital Age Communications Act Project, or DACA Project, atPFF.We brought together 50 of the nation's leading economists, lawyers, engineers, and otherexperts, to talk about reforming communications policy for the better. And under the very ableleadership of my former colleague, Tom Lenard, who's here today, our spectrum task force puttogether a report on new spectrum policy which offered five transitional options forencumbered spectrum, a couple of which are very similar to what we're actually going to bediscussing here this morning.
So, I encourage all of you to take a second look at our DACA Project and the Spectrum PolicyReport to see what the nine experts involved in that task force came up with.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation,
Report from the DACA Working Group on New Spectrum Policy