REMARKS OF FCC COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL
SILICON FLATIRONS: THE NEXT TEN YEARS OF SPECTRUM POLICY
NOVEMBER 13, 2012
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel delivered remarks on wireless policy to the
Silicon Flatirons conference, “The Next Ten Years of Spectrum Policy.” The Commissioner
set out her perspectives on several of today’s top spectrum debates, including guiding
principles for incentive auctions, a new approach for federal spectrum, a way forward using
model rules for facility siting, and the need for a comprehensive look at network reliability.
Incentive Auctions: Guiding principles are essential for incentive auctions.
o Simplicity – “In short, to have converts to our crusade for more wireless opportunity,
simplicity must be our incentive auction gospel.” Simplicity will yield more interest
in the opportunities these auctions provide for broadcasters, and in turn, this will yield
o Fairness – Those not participating should be treated fairly, but all parties should also
fairly assess their opportunities.
o Balance – “None of the three legs of the incentive auction—the reverse auction, the
repacking, or the forward auction—can stand on its own.” Balance also means
attention to licensed and unlicensed uses across frequency bands.
o Public Safety – We must not forget that the success of these auctions requires meeting
the public safety funding objective.
o Speed matters – The Commission should put all of our auctions on a timeline.
Federal Spectrum: Commercial access to federal spectrum requires several strategies.
o “We must work with our government partners so they can realize the value of their
spectrum and the value of using it efficiently—instead of only seeing loss from its
reallocation.” Federal users need incentives such as proceeds from spectrum auctions,
especially in light of upcoming budget cuts.
o Traditional clearing as well as sharing proposals can maximize access to the spectrum
in the long run.
Wireless Facility Siting: We should start a proceeding to craft “off-the-rack model rules”
that are simple for state and local governments to use. Model rules provide a streamlined
way to expedite deployment while respecting state and local authority and facilitating the
growth of local economies.
Enhancing Public Safety: In the wake of too many communications outages after
Hurricane Sandy, “It is time for an honest conversation about network reliability in the
wireless and digital age.”
o The discussion should include questions about access to fuel, priority under the
Stafford Act, maintaining backhaul, and harmonization of laws at all levels of
o The discussion should also include ways to keep consumer equipment powered up
during a disaster.