Something critical is happening to meet the public demand for mobile broadband services.
Sometime in the next year, the FCC will hold an “incentive auction” to transfer underused spectrum now assigned to television broadcasters to America’s wireless service providers. This is positive development, however, the FCC is also contemplating auction rules that would set-aside blocks of spectrum for smaller cell phone carriers at discounted prices, while limiting the amount of spectrum that could be acquired by their larger competitors. A new Progressive Policy Institute Backgrounder authored by David Balto and Hal Singer argues against putting a regulatory thumb on the scales.
Balto and Singer caution that auction restrictions designed to funnel spectrum to smaller wireless carriers would likely curtail overall competition across the broadband marketplace. Rather than rig the bidding, Balto and Singer propose that the FCC conduct a post-auction review of spectrum holdings to determine whether divestiture is needed to preserve competition.
Progressive Policy Institute