At a congressional hearing on the discussion draft of the Public Safety Broadband Act of 2010, Brattle principal Coleman Bazelon discussed the revenue that might be raised by auctioning the D Block and other bands of spectrum, and the need for and benefits of additional licensed radio spectrum generally.
The draft legislation directs the Federal Communications Commission to use the proceeds from an auction of the D block to cover a portion of the equipment costs for a new public safety network. In his testimony, Dr. Bazelon estimates that a well structured, competitive auction of the D Block could be expected to raise approximately $3 billion to $4 billion in revenue, depending on the timing of a future auction. Dr. Bazelon discussed how licensing additional spectrum could further benefit public safety by increasing competition among mobile broadband providers, leading to an increase in the number of potential partners for public safety and reduced costs, and by allowing for a more connected public. “Just as the proliferation of cell phones supports public safety’s mission, the increasing use of mobile broadband by the public will further enhance the public safety community’s ability to respond to future emergencies,” Bazelon said.
To read Dr. Bazelon’s testimony, follow the link below.