Congressional briefing on incentive auctions to re-purpose TV spectrum

On 23 May 2011, a Congressional briefing, “Spectrum Incentive Auctions: the Nuts, Bolts and Economics,” hosted by the Technology Policy Institute, focused on the economics of auctions and how spectrum incentive auctions should be structured to provide the most efficient outcomes for stakeholders.

The FCC and the Administration want to make 120 MHz of spectrum currently used for broadcast available for other, presumably higher-value, wireless uses.  Policymakers are proposing using voluntary auctions to encourage broadcasters to sell their licenses, but questions remain on how these incentive auctions would work in practice. The panelists and the presentations (in order of presentation) were:

  • Scott Wallsten, Vice President for Research, Technology Policy Institute (moderator)
  • Evan Kwerel, Senior Economic Advisor, Federal Communications Commission [Presentation]
  • Peter Cramton, Professor of Economics, University of Maryland [Presentation, pptx with animation]
  • Karen Wrege, Senior Auction Consultant, Power Auctions LLC [Presentation]
  • Lawrence Ausubel, Professor of Economics, University of Maryland [Presentation]

The event was well-covered in the trade press. Some examples are given below:

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