ITIF - The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

04/13/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/13/2017 13:12

With Auction Now Complete, FCC Should Quickly Repack Spectrum So It Can Be Put to Use

WASHINGTON-The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a leading science- and tech-policy think tank, today released the following statement from Senior Telecom Policy Analyst Doug Brake urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and broadcasters to keep the forward momentum as the incentive auction ends:

The results of the FCC's incentive auction are in, drawing this historic process to a close. But much remains to be done before this spectrum can be put to more productive use. The FCC and other stakeholders must work together to ensure hasty deployment of this spectrum so that consumers and the entire economy can reap the benefits as quickly as possible.

This auction was a great success. It transferred a record 70 megahertz of nationwide spectrum below 1 GHz to licensed mobile broadband services, and transferred 14 more megahertz for unlicensed use, rewarding broadcasters who decided to give up their spectrum rights in the process. It shows a two-sided auction is a practical mechanism for reallocating spectrum to new uses that can be employed in other circumstances or in other countries.

The benefits to broadband users and the economy flow not just from spectrum being transferred, but its actual use-equipment must be built out and turned on. Before this can happen, affected broadcasting services must be re-organized to fit within remaining spectrum.

This 'repacking'-overseen by the FCC-will be a complicated, coordinated process achieved over several phases to minimize disruption to broadcasters, but the sooner it moves forward the better. The faster the repacking process takes place, clearing this fresh spectrum to be put into service, the sooner we see the true benefits of this historic auction.