Wireless Opportunities: Improving Federal Radio Systems and Freeing Spectrum for New Uses

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
10 am -- 11:30 am

Freeing up more spectrum for consumer and business use is essential for further wireless innovation, and one of the largest opportunities in the quest to maximize the efficient use of spectrum is in upgrading legacy federal radio systems. Various federal agencies hold vast swaths of spectrum that could potentially be used more efficiently or put to more valuable use, but they have limited incentives to give up control. What mechanisms can best fund and hasten federal users’ upgrade of legacy radio systems to help free up spectrum? To what extent and how best can we preserve flexibility for government radio users to achieve their mission?

The FCC’s recently concluded incentive auction shows opportunities remain for creative solutions to improve the allocation of spectrum rights. What lessons from the incentive auction, or other historical attempts at spectrum reallocation, can be applied to improving government spectrum use?

Join ITIF for a conversation exploring spectrum policy and opportunities to free up airwaves for innovative new uses. The conversation will feature comments from Thomas Hazlett, Hugh H. Macaulay Endowed Professor of Economics, and Director of the Information Economy Project, at Clemson University and author of the soon-to-be-released book, The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from Herbert Hoover to the Smartphone (Yale University Press, 2017).