Panel Predictability Scorecard

Last time, I made predictions about the remarks I expected to hear at NAF’s panel on the spectrum incentive auctions with a promise to score the results, so here you are.

Michael Calabrese threw me a curve and didn’t make any advocacy remarks at all, he mainly stuck to the moderator duties. He indirectly promoted his agenda by emphasizing the idea that revenue should be a secondary goal of the auction, behind “competition, innovation, and consumer welfare.” This is a credit to him. Minus 1 for me.

Representative Eshoo and Senator Moran didn’t show, so I get no score for either, unless I count Eshoo’s “beachfront” reference at the recent Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on FCC Oversight.

Tom Power did pretty much what I said, including the humor.  Plus 1 for me.

Reed Hundt offered the insight that net neutrality resembles the old monopoly telecom deal, i. e., it assumes competition is an illusion so regulators should simply go wild. He’s more pro-competition than pro-regulated monopoly, a good thing. He showed his support for unlicensed by kneecapping the case for auction revenue in the same way that Calabrese did: citing additional auctions that can raise revenues for First Net in case the incentive auction fails and additional sources of commercial spectrum, such as Light Squared. Plus 1 for me.

Chip Pickering made the arguments for his clients I predicted, so another Plus 1 for me.

Sprint’s Lawrence Krevor performed as expected, but I wonder how his story is going to change with the prospects of a Sprint/T-Mobile merger on the table. The combined firm will have two to three times as much spectrum per user as AT&T and Verizon have, and I don’t see Sprint arguing that they should be prevented from buying more. Plus 1.

Joan Marsh of AT&T didn’t offer any surprises, so Minus 1.

Eric Graham was pretty mild, just touting competition and not asking for caps on the big carriers. This probably has to do with the roaming agreements his firm depends on. Minus 1.

Matt Wood, Fred Campbell, Mark Cooper, and George Ford all went to plan, Plus 4 on net.

Peter Cramton didn’t say the things I thought he would at all, in fact he took an entirely different direction, so Minus 1.

In total, 8 speakers said pretty much what I thought they would say, three didn’t, and two didn’t show. So as panel discussions go, this was actually on the enlightening side.

There you are.