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Phoenix Center Proposes a ‘Transaction Window’ to Facilitate Spectrum Transfers

Drew Clark

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WASHINGTON, October 15, 2018 - The Phoenix Center on Friday released a new report on how the existence of a “transaction window” could help facilitating market-based repurposing of electromagnetic spectrum.

The eight-page report, “Expediting Spectrum Repurposing Through Market Transactions,” presents an economic model for a two-stage process: First, incumbent licensees are would be granted a fixed period of time to sell, acquire, or repurpose their licenses.

This period of time is what the authors, Randolph Beard and George Ford, call the “transaction window.” In the second stage, incumbent licensees are relocated to other portions of the band and compensated for the Federal Communications Commission for doing so.

While spectrum auctions are the favored mechanism of rights assignment, identifying, clearing, and getting spectrum on the auction block takes, on average, a decade or more.

The approach encouraged by Beard and Ford would use the transaction window as a motivation for incumbent spectrum holders to act quickly.

“The Commission is right to pursue market-based solutions for spectrum repurposing,” say Beard and Ford. “Time is of the essence, however, and economic theory and empirical evidence suggests an expiring transaction window will expedite market transactions for spectrum licenses.”

See the Phoenix Center's press release and its report.

(Illustration from PolicyTracker.com.)

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