Aspen Institute Releases New Report on Spectrum Policy

March 17, 2010

For Immediate Release
Contact: Charlie Firestone
The Aspen Institute
Tel. 202-736-5818

Washington, DC, March 17, 2010 –– The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program today releases its newest report titled, Rethinking Spectrum Policy: A Fiber Intensive Wireless Architecture. The report includes a number of innovative ways that changes in spectrum policy can help address the consequences of increased consumer demand for wireless communications services.  

The publication, written for the Aspen Institute by Georgetown Professor Mark MacCarthy, is a product of the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Spectrum Policy held in November 2009. Contributors to the Roundtable dialogue were leaders from government agencies that included the Federal Communications Commission, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and Department of Defense; Congress; British Ofcom; nonprofit organizations active in the field; executives from telecommunications, broadcasting, cable software, wireless, and communications equipment companies; and leading academics. 

The report addresses two elements of the (then anticipated) National Broadband Plan—the need for more spectrum for wireless broadband, and the importance of network investment to bring faster, cheaper, and better broadband to all Americans. Increasing growth in demand for wireless broadband services will require additional spectrum beyond current availability.  Solutions to address this demand include spectrum reallocations, improved receivers, shared use, changes in pricing, and fostering secondary markets. The report also focuses on an additional reason for network investment, namely to put in place a fiber intensive wireless architecture that will lessen the need for an endless race for more spectrum in the future.

The report is available online at:

The Communications and Society Program addresses the societal impact of communications and information technologies, and provides a multi-disciplinary venue for considered judgment on communications policy issues. Visit our homepage,

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs, and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has an international network of partners.    


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