Spectrum has become one of the most valuable natural resources of the Information Age. Unlike other comparably valuable natural resources such as land and oil, it is owned by the public and allocated exclusively by the federal government. Also, unlike those resources, it is invisible both literally and figuratively: the general public does not understand—and consequently does not care about—its allocation. This combination of huge amounts of money at stake and public ignorance creates the classic conditions for special interest politics.
J.H. Snider, Research Director of the New America Foundation's Wireless Future Program, describes the causes and consequences of this special interest politics in his new report, The Art of Spectrum Lobbying: America's $480 Billion Spectrum Giveaway, How it Happened, and How to Prevent it from Recurring. At this brownbag lunch forum, Dr. Snider will present the findings of his study. This will be followed by a discussion by a distinguished panel of experts on natural resources, good government, and spectrum policy. The report is timely, as the FCC is currently considering auction reform in the 700 MHz band and numerous “minor” modifications worth tens of billions of dollars in the broadcast and satellite bands.
New America Foundation
1630 Connecticut Ave, NW 7th Floor
Washington, DC, 20009
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