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September 16, 2013
Article Authored by Brattle Consultants Discusses Economic Tradeoffs Associated with Spectrum Sharing Arrangements

An article authored by Brattle principal Coleman Bazelon and associate Giulia McHenry on spectrum sharing arrangements was recently featured in the Hogan Lovells’ publication, Global Media and Communications Quarterly.

In light of the growing demand for wireless broadband spectrum, significant attention is now being devoted to more effectively utilizing federal allocations of spectrum, either by entirely repurposing for commercial use, or sharing between federal and commercial users. Spectrum sharing is seen as one way to allow commercial users to access a band without incurring the costs of completely clearing existing federal users. While spectrum sharing avoids costs of clearing incumbent users, it has its own costs and will impact the value of the shared spectrum. There is no easy solution to the growing demands for commercial, federal and local public safety wireless services. The rising demand for commercial spectrum and wireless communication services is widely accepted, but that does not negate the demands for wireless technologies for defense, public safety, and other federal priorities. The challenge to policymakers is to weigh the tradeoffs and facilitate the appropriate spectrum allocations given these conflicting demands.

In the article, “The Economics of Spectrum Sharing,” the authors consider the economic tradeoffs associated with various spectrum sharing arrangements, and suggest a method of weighing the tradeoffs and aligning the incentives of federal and commercial users.

The article is currently available on SSRN.