Unlocking the Beachfront: Using Operations Research to Repurpose Wireless Spectrum
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently completed the world’s first two-sided spectrum auction, reclaiming spectrum from TV broadcasters to meet exploding demand for wireless services. Operations research tools– including optimization, simulation, and SAT-solvers – were essential to both the design and implementation of the auction. The auction was one of the most successful in the FCC’s history, repurposing 84 MHz of spectrum and generating revenue of nearly $20 billion, including more than $10 billion in new capital for the broadcast TV industry and over $7 billion to pay down the U.S. deficit.
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