Hazlett Debates Spectrum Management in Panel Discussion

Fallow spectrum is the result of the government's initial errors in allocation, Professor Thomas Hazlett told observers of a panel discussion at the Wireless Communications Association Internationals annual Washington show. Hazlett, a professor of law and economics and former FCC chief economist, debated Gregory Rohde, former administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and president of e-Copernicus, a lobbying and consulting firm.

Spectrum Experts Debate Reason for Frequencies Going Unused, TR Daily, June 15, 2007. By Paul Kirby.

"Theres a massive problem with fallow spectrum, Mr. Hazlett agreed. But he said thats because of mistakes the government has made in allocating it in the first place. He called for the government to put more frequencies in the marketplace with liberal, exclusively assigned rights. Its quite clear that U.S. policy has stifled broadband build-out of wireless, he added. Mr. Hazlett cited TV spectrum, the 3650-3700 megahertz band, and the 2.5 gigahertz band as examples of frequencies that have been underutilized due to FCC allocation and service rule decisions.

"Mr. Hazlett added that frequencies that had been used by specialized mobile radio (SMR) licensees also had been underutilized until Morgan OBrien and others acquired them and constructed a network that is now part of Sprint Nextel Corp."