Battle Over the Airwaves: America's Spectrum Shortage for 3G


The New York Times has called the airwaves the most valuable resource of the New Economy -- the auctions concluded last week raised a record $17 billion. One central issue the administration and Michael Powell, the FCC's new chairman, must confront is how to solve the "spectrum gap" that threatens to put U.S. companies at a disadvantage in the race to develop IT's next big thing: 3G, or third-generation wireless -- the anytime, anywhere wireless world. The wireless industry says it needs large allocations from spectrum already occupied by powerful incumbents, including broadcasters and the military.

This is the first in a series of "policy roundtables" dedicated to examining the need to reform U.S. spectrum policy. Short presentations will be followed by an open discussion among all participants about the implications of the spectrum shortage and options for initiatives by Congress and the FCC.


The New America Foundation
1630 Connecticut Ave., NW 7th Floor
Washington, DC, 20009
See map: Google Maps


  • Reed Hundt
    Senior Advisor, McKinsey and Co. and former Chair, Federal Communications Commission

  • Thomas Wheeler
    President and CEO, Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association