The FCC's goal for the auction should be to encourage the development of more broadband Internet services. So much of the economy's potential depends on high-speed Internet access, yet the U.S. lags many Asian and European countries in the percentage of broadband users.
The commission should heed recommendations from high-tech and satellite TV firms, which say a 10% increase in the size of the current plan's blocks would allow for more types of wireless broadband technology. Having more sources of broadband is particularly important in rural areas, where high-speed Internet service has been scarce. The rules should also allow bidders to offer a premium for a national set of licenses, which would encourage the creation of national broadband networks while deterring present broadband suppliers from hoarding the airwaves in a single region. Those suppliers might still try to buy national licenses and offer services that don't compete with their DSL offerings.