by Gregory J. Vogt
Free State Foundation
July 03, 2014
Permanently sharing wireless broadband spectrum with the government is bad for commercial users. In implementing President Obama’s policy goal of allocating 500 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband, the 2012 PCAST Report predicted that, just as emergency vehicles share public roads with the public, government and commercial users should be able to use the same band of spectrum. This analogy does not bear close scrutiny. Occasional use of public highways is acceptable and necessary, but if those government vehicles occupied some of the highway lanes all the time – even in the absence of an emergency – no one would tolerate this result. By the same token, Congress has expressed a strong preference for clearing and reallocating government’s spectrum “lanes” for commercial use, rather than sharing the same spectrum bands.

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