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Spectrum 2019 - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Roundtable on Spectrum Policy?
The Aspen Institute Roundtable on Spectrum Policy (AIRS) is a continuing series of roundtable discussions attended by key decision makers from the telecommunications and information industries, user and consumer groups, academics, non-profit leaders, and representatives from federal, state, and local government. Expert participants from diverse disciplines and viewpoints exchange valuable insights, and develop innovative recommendations regarding spectrum policy. 

What is the purpose of this website?
This site displays the report resulting from the annual Roundtable on Spectrum Policy. The series of chapters, written by rapporteur Ruth Milkman, synthesize the ideas that emerged from participants during the two-day dialogue.

Recasting PCAST after the WRC-19 revisits the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report recommendations for spectrum policy. The PCAST report makes policy recommendations on the potential of government-held spectrum to spur economic growth. Eight years later, the urgent need for access to spectrum is still a critical issue both nationally and globally. The report, written by Ruth Milkman, explores novel recommendations of the PCAST report, the value of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) globally harmonizing bands, and China’s race to 5G. Milkman also discusses the digital divide.

What is Aspen Digital?
Aspen Digital empowers policy makers, civic organizations, companies and the public to be responsible stewards of technology and digital media in the service of a more just and equitable world. Through convenings, fellowships, publications, interactive toolkits, and thought leadership, we work towards values-based and human solutions to digital challenges. Aspen Digital shines a light on urgent global issues across the news information ecosystem, cybersecurity, emerging technology, urban innovation and the technology talent pipeline—and then turns ideas into action. Our flagship initiatives include the Tech Policy Hub, Aspen Cyber Summit, Cybersecurity Group, Center for Urban Innovation, Communications Policy, Emerging Technology Trust Initiative, Institutional Innovation, and the Tech X Talent Project.

Who leads the Aspen Digital Program?
Vivian Schiller is Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Digital Program. Schiller is a longtime executive at the intersection of journalism, media and technology. She recently joined the Aspen Institute in a new position heading up programs across media, technology and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining Aspen, Schiller served as the founding head of the Civil Foundation, an independent not-for-profit committed to the sustainability of trustworthy journalism around the world. She is also strategic advisor to Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

Over the last 30 years, Vivian has held executive roles at some of the most respected media organizations in the world. Those include: President and CEO of NPR; Global Chair of News at Twitter; General Manager of NYTimes.com; Chief Digital Officer of NBC News; Chief of the Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications; and Head of CNN documentary and long form divisions. Documentaries and series produced under her auspices earned multiple honors, including three Peabody Awards, four Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, and dozens of Emmys.

Schiller is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; and a Director of the Scott Trust, which owns The Guardian..

Who sponsors the programming of the Aspen Digital Program?
We would like to thank our attending sponsors of the 2019 Aspen Institute Aspen Digital Program financial support to the Aspen Digital Program. They are Google, Microsoft, AT&T, Comcast, Facebook, New Street Research, T-Mobile, Verizon, Charter, Dodge and Cox, the National Association of Broadcasters, Emmis and EchoStar Corporation.

Who moderates the Roundtable on Spectrum Policy?
In 2019, Charlie Firestone, former Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, moderated the Roundtable.

Who are the participants at the Roundtable on Spectrum Policy?
Over the years many notable participants, including Dick Green, Reed Hundt, Jon Leibowitz, Yochai Benkler, Eli Noam, Phil Weiser, David Redl, Thomas Hazlett, and Larry Strickling have attended the Roundtable on Spectrum Policy.

Can I attend the Roundtable on Spectrum Policy?
Participants at the Roundtable are a carefully balanced group of key decision makers from the telecommunications and information industries, user and consumer groups, academics, non-profit leaders, and representatives from government that are invited for their expertise, creativity and influential public policy ideas. Participation at the AIRS roundtable is by invitation only. 

Where does the Roundtable on Spectrum Policy take place?
AIRS is an annual autumn event that takes place at the Aspen Wye River Conference Center in Queenstown, MD. 

Does the Roundtable on Spectrum Policy have the same theme every year?
The AIRS theme varies each year, but always examines issues of spectrum regulation, allocation, and policy. Previous AIRS topics include: “Spectrum Policy and the Future of Satellites,” “Rethinking Institutions of Spectrum Management,” “Revisiting Spectrum Policy: Seven Years after the National Broadband Plan,” “Preparing for a 5G World,” “Spectrum for the Wired Network,” “Spectrum as a Resource for Enabling Innovation Policy,” “The Reallocation Imperative: A New Vision for Spectrum Policy,” “Spectrum for the Next Generation of Wireless,” and “Rethinking Spectrum Policy: A Fiber Intensive Wireless Architecture.”

The current Roundtable on Spectrum Policy topic is “Recasting PCAST after the WRC-19.”