PUBLISHED:August 27, 2020

Benjamin member of team awarded NSF grant to study spectrum policy


Duke Law Professor Stuart M. Benjamin, an expert in telecommunications regulation and co-director of the Center for Innovation Policy, is the only law professor on the interdisciplinary team.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $300,000 grant to study spectrum policy to an interdisciplinary team including Duke Law Professor Stuart M. Benjamin.

The award is for the NSF’s Spectrum Innovation Initiative: National Center for Wireless Spectrum Research. Benjamin, the only law professor on the team, has extensive experience on the topic, having written about spectrum policy, worked on spectrum initiatives at the FCC, and testified on spectrum issues before Congress.

Wireless capabilities have been growing rapidly, with 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) as perhaps the most prominent current developments. This NSF program asks grantees to “go beyond 5G, IoT, and other existing or forthcoming systems and technologies and chart out a trajectory to ensure United States leadership in future wireless technologies, systems, and applications in science and engineering through the efficient use and sharing of the radio spectrum.”

The team will conduct a series of seminars to explore these questions in depth and to lay the foundation for the future of spectrum regulation.

“I’m particularly pleased because it’s fairly unusual for a law professor to be on a grant like this, and I think we can make a real contribution to spectrum policy,” Benjamin said.

Benjamin, who co-directs the Center for Innovation Policy at Duke Law, specializes in telecommunications law, the First Amendment, and administrative law. From 2009 to 2011, he was the first Distinguished Scholar at the Federal Communications Commission. He is a coauthor of Internet and Telecommunication Regulation (2019) and Telecommunications Law and Policy (multiple editions), as well as numerous law review articles, and he has testified before House and Senate committees as a legal expert on a range of topics.

The award is being led by professors in the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University.