Spectrum Hall of Shame: The Worst (and Best) Radio Policy Decisions

Tags: Spectrum Policy / Technology Policy

Spectrum policy changes to fit changing circumstances, but new policies don’t always work out as planned. There have been great successes and striking failures—though opinion may differ about whether something was a success or a failure. This conference will try to learn from past policy decisions to inform current and future rulemakings.

The conference will consist of two keynote speeches, three panel discussions, and a wrap-up session to draw conclusions. A report will be prepared by students of the University of Colorado Law School.

The first panel will attempt to define factors that determine the success or failure of spectrum policies. Considerations might include efficient use, consumer benefit, and scientific progress. Other questions include how much time must pass before one can draw conclusions, and how to weigh benefits against unintended side effects.

The second panel will focus attention on policy successes, particularly underappreciated ones. (We’ll take it as given that flexible license auctions and unlicensed spread spectrum were successes.) The third panel will explore some policy failures. Candidates for discussion include allowing cellular operation in land mobile radio bands, ultra-wideband, TV white spaces, allowing terrestrial operation in satellite bands, auction set-asides, a hard date for the digital television transition, and the D Block public safety auction.

In a short closing session, the panel moderators will reconvene to identify highlights, conclusions, and themes of the conference.


09/06/18 1:00pm - 1:15pm

09/06/18 1:15pm - 1:45pm
09/06/18 1:45pm - 2:45pm
Panel 1 – Defining Success and Failure
  • Bryan Tramont — Moderator
    Managing Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer, LLP
  • Michele C. Farquhar — Panelist
    Partner, Hogan Lovells
  • Thomas W. Hazlett — Panelist
    H. H. Macaulay Endowed Professor, Clemson University
  • Julius Knapp — Panelist
    Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications Commission
  • Peter Mannetti — Panelist
    Formerly Managing Partner, iSherpa Capital, LLC
09/06/18 2:45pm - 3:00pm

09/06/18 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Panel 2 – Successes
  • Robert B. Kelly — Moderator
    Partner, Squire Patton Boggs
  • Rob Alderfer — Panelist
    Vice President, Technology Policy, CableLabs
  • Larry Downes — Panelist
    Project Director, Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy
  • David Goldman — Panelist
    Director of Satellite Policy, SpaceX
  • Charla Rath — Panelist
    Vice President, Wireless Policy Development, Verizon
09/06/18 4:00pm - 4:15pm

09/06/18 4:15pm - 5:15pm
Panel 3 - Failures
  • Jennifer Manner — Moderator
    Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, EchoStar Corporation
  • Jim Lansford — Panelist
    Director, Technical Standards, Qualcomm
  • Blair Levin — Panelist
    Nonresident Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution
  • Erin McGrath — Panelist
    Legal Advisor, Federal Communications Commission
  • Steve Sharkey — Panelist
    Vice President, Government Affairs, Engineering and Technology Policy, T-Mobile USA, Inc.
09/06/18 5:15pm - 5:30pm

09/06/18 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Closing Keynote
  • David J. Redl
    Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
09/06/18 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Panel 4 – So What?
09/06/18 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Please note: Per university alcohol policy, only registered guests will be admitted to the reception.

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