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April 12, 2004

CONTACT: David Fish
(202) 289-8928

Spectrum Debate - Thursday on Capitol Hill
Is Spectrum Public Good or Private Property?

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Should the electromagnetic spectrum be considered a public good or private property? That is a question sure to inspire spirited discussion among a diverse panel of experts at an April 15 Congressional Seminar sponsored by The Progress & Freedom Foundation. Framing the debate will be a policy paper to be released and discussed at the Thursday event by Duke University Professor of Law Stuart Benjamin, "Does Spectrum Abundance Justify Public Control?" Lunch begins at noon, followed by a panel discussion at 12:30, both in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 192.

Additional panelists include Randolph J. May, senior fellow and director of communications policy studies at The Progress & Freedom Foundation, Peter Pitsch, director of communications policy at Intel Corp. and Harold Feld, associate director, Media Access Project. May will moderate.

At least since Ronald Coase's famous 1959 article entitled The Federal Communications Commission advocating that the government sell spectrum rights in order to create a functioning marketplace, there has been a lively, if at times contentious, debate concerning spectrum policy. Much of the discussion today concerns whether the FCC should rely more heavily on a "commons" approach in allocating spectrum or move toward more private control.

Those interested in attending should register online. Questions should be directed to Rebecca Fuller at 202-289-8928 or

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation