by Gregory J. Vogt
Free State Foundation
May 08, 2014
Recently, an incentive auction draft order was circulated to the FCC Commissioners, which will be voted on at the May 15 meeting. The incentive auction will allow TV broadcasters to volunteer spectrum in exchange for part of the proceeds of a subsequent forward auction among mobile broadband providers. This two-part auction is a vital part of the Obama Administration’s goal of reallocating 500 MHz of spectrum for mobile broadband use. However, the risk of the auction failing to achieve sufficient mobile broadband spectrum is borne by the American consumer. The primary reward of the incentive auction should be gaining maximum spectrum for repurposing to give consumers sufficient bandwidth to meet their increasing demands. Reallocating spectrum among individual mobile providers to meet pre-conceived notions of “competition” should not be one of the auction’s goals. It’s time to establish a partnership that lets the market-based auction achieve maximum rewards for the American consumer.

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