Modernizing Radio Spectrum Management

Author: John Leibovitz and Ruth Milkman 


The Biden-Harris Administration should pursue a set of policies aimed at maximizing productive use of the radio spectrum, a key public good that can be used to create economic and social value. These policies should include adjustments to the institutions that manage the nation’s spectrum; a redefinition of spectrum rights and responsibilities enjoyed by companies that use the spectrum; and options for using the economic value created by spectrum auctions to address persistent public problems.

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About the Authors

John Leibovitz joined Columbia Capital as a venture partner in 2016. Previously, he served as Deputy Chief of the Wireless Bureau and Special Advisor to the Chairman for Spectrum Policy at the FCC.  John developed the spectrum strategy outlined in the National Broadband Plan and led its implementation, repurposing nearly 250 megahertz for mobile broadband.  Prior to the FCC, John helped launch the Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform working group for President Obama’s transition team. Before that, he was a wireless entrepreneur and strategy consultant. He started his business career with McKinsey & Company. John has written about tech and telecom policy in the Yale Law Journal and the Yale Journal of Law and Technology. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.Phil. from Cambridge University, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Ruth Milkman is a founding partner at Quadra Partners, LLC, a strategic-advisory firm focused on telecommunications, media and technology.  Before founding Quadra Partners, Milkman held a variety of senior positions at the Federal Communications Commission, including Chief of Staff to Chairman Tom Wheeler, and Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.  Milkman also was a partner in a boutique telecommunications law firm for 10 years.  She received a law degree from the University of Michigan