Bhaskar Chakravorti, William W. Sharkey, Yossef Spiegel and Simon Wilkie

Auctioning the Airwaves: The Contest for Broadband PCS Spectrum

The House and Senate of the United States Congress recently passed legislation that directs the FCC to establish a system for using auctions to allocate the use of radio spectrum for personal communications services. There is a unique and unprecedented set of issues that arise in this context, which are of interest to economists, industry analysts, regulators, and policymakers. We discuss these issues and evaluate their likely impact on the outcome of the spectrum auctions. In addition, we argue that there may be pitfalls in the auction procedure adopted by the FCC, and we discuss possible alternative procedures.