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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
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WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY PROSPECTS AND POLICY OPTIONS

Committee on Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS

Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
500 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Support for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation under award number CNS-0238131. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-16398-9

International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-16398-6

Copies of this report are available from:

The National Academies Press

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Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.


The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering.


The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.


The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.


www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
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COMMITTEE ON WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY PROSPECTS AND POLICY OPTIONS

DAVID E. LIDDLE,

U.S. Venture Partners,

Chair

YOCHAI BENKLER,

Harvard University

DAVID BORTH,

Motorola Labs

ROBERT W. BRODERSEN,

University of California, Berkeley

DAVID D. CLARK,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

THOMAS (TED) DARCIE,

University of Victoria

DALE N. HATFIELD,

University of Colorado, Boulder

MICHAEL L. KATZ,

New York University

PAUL J. KOLODZY,

Kolodzy Consulting

LARRY LARSON,

University of California, San Diego

DAVID P. REED,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

GREGORY ROSSTON,

Stanford University

DAVID SKELLERN,

National ICT Australia

Staff

JON EISENBERG, Director,

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
×

COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD

ROBERT F. SPROULL,

Oracle Corporation,

Chair

PRITHVIRAJ BANERJEE,

Hewlett-Packard Company

STEVEN M. BELLOVIN,

Columbia University

SEYMOUR E. GOODMAN,

Georgia Institute of Technology

JOHN E. KELLY III,

IBM

JON M. KLEINBERG,

Cornell University

ROBERT KRAUT,

Carnegie Mellon University

SUSAN LANDAU,

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

DAVID E. LIDDLE,

U.S. Venture Partners

WILLIAM H. PRESS,

University of Texas, Austin

PRABHAKAR RAGHAVAN,

Yahoo! Labs

DAVID E. SHAW,

D.E. Shaw Research

ALFRED Z. SPECTOR,

Google, Inc.

JOHN A. SWAINSON,

Silver Lake

PETER SZOLOVITS,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

PETER J. WEINBERGER,

Google, Inc.

ERNEST J. WILSON,

University of Southern California

Staff

JON EISENBERG, Director

VIRGINIA BACON TALATI, Associate Program Officer

SHENAE BRADLEY, Senior Program Assistant

RENEE HAWKINS, Financial and Administrative Manager

HERBERT S. LIN, Chief Scientist

EMILY ANN MEYER, Program Officer

LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Senior Program Officer

ERIC WHITAKER, Senior Program Assistant

ENITA A. WILLIAMS, Associate Program Officer

For more information on CSTB, see its website at http://www.cstb.org, write to CSTB, National Research Council, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001, call (202) 334-2605, or e-mail the CSTB at cstb@nas.edu.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
×

Preface

The use of radio-frequency communication—commonly referred to as wireless communication—is becoming more pervasive as well as more economically and socially important. Technological progress over many decades has enabled the deployment of several successive generations of cellular telephone technology, which is now used by many billions of people worldwide; the near-universal addition of wireless local area networking to personal computers; and a proliferation of actual and proposed uses of wireless communications. The flood of new technologies, applications, and markets has also opened up opportunities for examining and adjusting the policy framework that currently governs the management and use of the spectrum and the institutions involved in it, and models for allocating spectrum and charging for it have come under increasing scrutiny.

Yet even as many agree that further change to the policy framework is needed, there is debate about precisely how the overall framework should be changed, what trajectory its evolution should follow, and how dramatic or rapid the change should be. Many groups have opinions, positions, demands, and desires related to these questions—reflecting multiple commercial, social, and political agendas and a mix of technical, economic, and social perspectives.

The development of technologies and associated policy and regulatory regimes are often closely coupled, an interplay apparent as early as the 1910s, when spectrum policy emerged in response to the growth of radio communications. As outlined in this report, current and ongoing

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
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technological advances suggest the need for a careful reassessment of the assumptions that inform spectrum policy in the United States today.

This report of the Committee on Wireless Technology Trends and Policy Options (Appendix A) thus seeks to shine a spotlight on 21st-century technology trends and to outline the implications of emerging technologies for spectrum management in ways that the committee hopes will be useful to those setting future spectrum policy. Speakers at the meetings held by the committee are listed in Appendix B. The detailed statement of task for the study is given in Appendix C.

The committee was not in a position to examine details of the numerous specific areas of contention that are the subject of frequent debate today or to evaluate the merits of opposing claims. This report thus does not offer specific prescriptions for how particular frequency bands should be used or seek to resolve conflicting demands for spectrum use for particular services. Instead, the committee offers a discussion of the technology trends and related policy options relevant to addressing these conflicts, both today and in the future.

The development of this report was not without its own challenges, and the report was a long time in the making. Early on, the committee’s work expanded in scope following a request from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to convene a forum on spectrum policy reform options.1 Later, a variety of circumstances unrelated to the substance or the work of the committee led to unexpected delays. Throughout the project, there were also reminders that its subject is inherently complex and challenging. The technology and policy issues are tightly intertwined, and the study involved experts from multiple disciplines, including economics, law, public policy, electrical engineering, and computer science. The multidisciplinary approach sought yields a more comprehensive view of a problem, but more time and effort are needed to establish a common view of the issues, a common vocabulary, and so forth. Finally, the technical and policy perspectives of the members of the committee were, by design, diverse. As a result, the technology considerations, enablers of a more nimble policy framework, and policy options developed by the committee are the products of a multidimensional examination of the issues and negotiation of agreements among members holding often-contrasting opinions.

1

National Research Council, Summary of a Forum on Spectrum Management Policy Reform, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2004.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
×

Acknowledgment of Reviewers

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:

Vinton G. Cerf, Google, Inc.,

John M. Cioffi, Stanford University,

Gerald R. Faulhaber, University of Pennsylvania,

Kevin C. Kahn, Intel Corporation,

Teresa H. Meng, Stanford University,

Dipankar Raychaudhuri, Rutgers University,

David H. Staelin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Andrew J. Viterbi, The Viterbi Group, and

Steven S. Wildman, Michigan State University.

Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
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before its release. The review of this report was overseen by R. Stephen Berry, University of Chicago. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
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The use of radio-frequency communication—commonly referred to as wireless communication—is becoming more pervasive as well as more economically and socially important. Technological progress over many decades has enabled the deployment of several successive generations of cellular telephone technology, which is now used by many billions of people worldwide; the near-universal addition of wireless local area networking to personal computers; and a proliferation of actual and proposed uses of wireless communications. The flood of new technologies, applications, and markets has also opened up opportunities for examining and adjusting the policy framework that currently governs the management and use of the spectrum and the institutions involved in it, and models for allocating spectrum and charging for it have come under increasing scrutiny.

Yet even as many agree that further change to the policy framework is needed, there is debate about precisely how the overall framework should be changed, what trajectory its evolution should follow, and how dramatic or rapid the change should be. Many groups have opinions, positions, demands, and desires related to these questions—reflecting multiple commercial, social, and political agendas and a mix of technical, economic, and social perspectives.

The development of technologies and associated policy and regulatory regimes are often closely coupled, an interplay apparent as early as the 1910s, when spectrum policy emerged in response to the growth of radio communications. As outlined in this report, current and ongoing technological advances suggest the need for a careful reassessment of the assumptions that inform spectrum policy in the United States today.

This book seeks to shine a spotlight on 21st-century technology trends and to outline the implications of emerging technologies for spectrum management in ways that the committee hopes will be useful to those setting future spectrum policy.

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