The Benefits of Unlicensed Access to Vacant TV Spectrum

The New America Foundation invites you to a Capitol Hill luncheon forum

Removing Barriers to Rural and Municipal Wireless Broadband


* Pierre de Vries Senior Fellow, USC Annenberg School for Communication, Former Senior Director of Advanced Technology Policy, Microsoft Corp.

* Leonard Scott MIS Unit Manager Corpus Christi (TX) Digital Community Development Corporation

* Brian O’Hara, Government Affairs Representative, National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA)

* Roger Cochetti, Group Director, U.S. Public Policy, CompTIA

* Jeff Blank, Chief Technology Officer, CONXX and Creator, Allegany County (MD) Network (AllCoNet)

* Wendy Wigen, Policy Analyst, EDUCAUSE

* Paul Kolodzy, Former Chair, FCC Spectrum Policy Task Force

NOTE: Senators Stevens, Allen, Sununu, Boxer, and Kerry
(co-sponsors of Title VI / TV white space provision) are also invited to speak.

* Moderator: Michael Calabrese, Vice President & Director, Wireless Future Program, New America Foundation

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. (lunch will be served)

Senate Commerce Committee Hearing Room
253 Senate Russell Office Building
Washington, D.C.

On June 28, 2006, the Senate Commerce Committee approved wide-ranging (and highly-contentious) telecommunications legislation which is now awaiting action on the Senate floor. The Advanced Telecommunications Opportunity and Reform Act (HR 5252) includes two key sections meant to remove barriers to municipal wireless broadband networks. Title VI would open up much-needed—and currently unused—TV spectrum for use by unlicensed wireless broadband devices, and Title V would lift state-level restrictions on municipal broadband networks.

Across the country, local governments, nonprofit community groups, campuses and thousands of start-up commercial providers are already deploying wireless broadband networks on unlicensed spectrum to enhance government efficiency and public safety, and to extend affordable high-speed access to homes, businesses, and schools. However, rural and muni wireless broadband providers in particular need more and better access to the airwaves in order to achieve the goal of universally affordable and pervasive connectivity.

Come hear a variety of perspectives on how freeing up unused TV spectrum and asserting local telecommunications freedom are vital steps to fostering broadband deployment—and how rural areas, small businesses, educational institutions, local governments, and consumers stand to benefit.

RSVP to New America Foundation’s Communications Department at [email protected] with name, affiliation, and contact information. If you have questions, call or email Naveen Lakshmipathy at (202) 986-2700 or [email protected].

Background material on this and related issues are available free at: