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As the Internet has evolved from an occasional-use resource to a pervasive, always-on broadband ecosystem, the networking technologies underpinning it have developed faster than legal and regulatory frameworks can adjust. This has led to complex policy challenges that must be overcome to ensure that networks of the future can develop to their fullest potential. On wireless policy, ITIF's focus areas include analyzing policies and trends related to wireless technology, spectrum management and sharing, and radio usage rights.


Five Principles for Spectrum Policy: A Primer for Policymakers

Five Principles for Spectrum Policy: A Primer for Policymakers

Spectrum policy takes engineering and technical realities as inputs to a decision-making process that is driven by normative principles. While many competing principles have had their heyday, these five are enduring guides to making spectrum work in the public interest.

More Publications and Events

February 27, 2023|Reports & Briefings

Filling Gaps in US Spectrum Allocation: Reforms for Collaborative Management

Interrelated gaps and failures in the process and policies used to efficiently allocate spectrum demand comprehensive reform. To prevent future failures, policymakers must improve device performance, increase data gathering and sharing, and clarify the spectrum allocation process.

January 30, 2023|Reports & Briefings

Building on Uncle Sam’s “Beachfront” Spectrum: Six Ways to Align Incentives to Make Better Use of the Airwaves

The federal government controls large swaths of the electromagnetic spectrum, but the current system for managing it lacks effective ways to incentivize agencies to use it efficiently. Congress and the Biden administration should promote good stewardship of spectrum and better enable it to power both federal missions and the commercial wireless ecosystem.

December 5, 2022|Testimonies & Filings

Comments to the FCC Regarding Use of Radar Devices in the 60-64 GHz Band

Making productive use of spectrum is central to the FCC’s purpose and goals. It has an opportunity to increase the productivity of the 60-64 GHz band by permitting airborne radar devices to operate near ground level. Specifically, it should seek a technical arrangement that permits the maximum commercial use of this band while also protecting the federal interest in the Earth Exploration Satellite Service.

November 14, 2022|Presentations

Building the Pipeline: Auction Authority and Spectrum Allocation in the United States

Joe Kane joins a panel speaking on what is being done to ensure spectrum is put to its best and highest use, and if there is enough spectrum to keep pace with demand and innovation.

September 27, 2022|Blogs

5G Can Play a Role in Reducing Environmental Harm

Even as greenhouse gas emissions keep increasing, solutions are emerging—some of the most promising of which stem from technological innovations, including burgeoning 5G.

September 26, 2022|Reports & Briefings

Why We Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Spectrum Windfalls

Many attempts to increase the flexibility of wireless spectrum rights meet objections that the method of reallocation will result in a windfall for corporate license holders. Far from being objectionable, however, allowing windfalls in spectrum reallocation creates virtuous incentives.

July 27, 2022|Testimonies & Filings

Comments to the FCC Regarding Efficient Use of Spectrum Through Improved Receiver Interference Immunity Performance

The Commission should incentivize voluntary, industry-led standards and take a forward-looking approach to the future interference environment by establishing a clear framework for adjudicating interference claims in the face of differential receiver quality.

July 5, 2022|Reports & Briefings

Spectrum Sharing: Holy Grail or False Hope?

To some, spectrum sharing is an innovative necessity. To others, it is a recipe for wasting valuable bandwidth. The truth is more nuanced. The spectrum-sharing landscape is marked with promising ideas and technologies that require further investment to be generalizable solutions.

March 21, 2022|Podcasts

Podcast: The Promise of 5G, With Susie Armstrong

Technology is rapidly developing across many sectors—and that is especially true with wireless technologies. 5G phones give consumers better, stronger, faster service and more capacity to download. But 5G goes beyond phones, it provides great innovative capacity for businesses. Rob and Jackie sat...

March 7, 2022|Op-Eds & Commentary, Blogs

New Spectrum Technologies Aren’t the Problem, They’re the Solution

The recent interagency spat between the FAA and FCC over the rollout of 5G services in the C band was a case study in more than just bureaucratic turf wars. It shows how failure to invest in technological upgrades can leave some players looking silly while they struggle to adjust to changing times.

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