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Spectrum Policy for the Wired Network -

Increasingly, the wired and wireless networks are converging in architecture and function. For example, the further fiber moves towards the customer, the more wireless capabilities are available in cellular networks. As wireless offers more bandwidth, it can deliver video and other functions previously thought to require broadband pipes. The question then arises, to what extent are wireless offerings substitutable for wireline services, and vice versa? And, what spectrum policies would foster best the goals of a robust, reliable and effective communications system in the United States? This roundtable will look at all forms of wireless, e.g., from cellular to broadcast to satellite communications.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.               Session I.  Setting the Predicates: Communications Architecture Today and Tomorrow

The Roundtable will begin with a look at the characteristics of network architecture, both wired and wireless, that are relevant to the broader policy inquiry.  Necessarily, the session will also address the overall goals of a communications system, which no doubt include a robust, reliable and effective delivery of end to end communications.  In the course of this exploration, the group will consider public goods that need to reach consumers, and the desire for consumer choice of competitive services. In the end, then, when is it necessary to have wired services to achieve a particular goal?  What technical characteristics affect policies towards competition and fulfillment of broader policy goals? 

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.             Session II.  PSTN, Public Goods and Reliability

Following up on the first session, what essential elements of the wired network are required by public policy?  Which of these can wireless services substitute for?  Which would be better from wireless providers?  That is, where can wireless provide better essential services than wired?  What are the consequences of switching to wireless in those cases? 

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.          Session III.  Substitution and Competition

How can spectrum services and spectrum policy foster a greater choice of communications services?  How should policy-makers measure substitutability in this arena?  What will allow providers to optimize the capabilities of the system while allowing consumers to optimize choice?

1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.              Session IV.  Working Groups

Each working group will address what spectrum policies can advance overall communications policy goals, e.g., robust, reliable, and effective communications with choice where possible.
In each case, the group should define and refine its subject area, take cognizance of the goals they are serving, and propose one to three spectrum policies that would advance it.

A.  Public Goods, e.g., safety, education
B.  Competitive Services
C.  Rural Communications

Friday, November 15, 2013

8:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.             Session V.  Reports of the Working Groups

Each working group will report back the specifics of their recommendations to the Roundtable group.
Dialogue among participants will follow.

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.          Session VI.  Conclusions, Recommendations and Next Steps

This session will look across the recommendations of the three working groups and find cross cutting solutions that will advance the goals of the Roundtable.