Over the last several years, the FCC has sought to go it alone. Considering that it regulates an industry in which technological change is exploding and in which a wide variety of stakeholders can provide the agency with valuable insights and information, this strategy is misguided. In the years ahead, the agency should seek to engage an array of entities that can enable it to operate more effectively.
First, the agency should re-engage other governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions. With respect to other governmental agencies, it merits note that there are a number of notable agencies with scientific and technical capabilities with whom the FCC should seek more frequent cooperation, including the Commerce Department laboratories and the standard setting expertise at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). On the state and local front, the FCC’s abandonment of the State and Local Government Advisory Committee and its lack of relationship with State CIOs both greatly hamper its effectiveness in areas ranging from broadband policy to public safety communications. As for non-profit and academic organizations, the agency can, both by reaching out to them, taking their research more seriously, and seeking to generate data that can enable independent research, enlist them as partners in elevating the level of analysis of critical communications policy issues.
In terms of the private sector, the FCC has a number of opportunities to enlist expertise it is currently leaving untapped. For starters, the agency should once again activate the Technical Advisory Committee that, when it was active, was a valuable sounding board on both broad strategic issues and specific tactical ones. As Russell J. Lefevre, president of IEEE-USA, put it, “[d]espite the generally excellent nature of its internal staff, given all of the technical issues within the FCC’s jurisdiction, it may be prudent to seek means to supplement the internal technical capabilities of the Commission.”
 For a broad discussion about how such bodies are and can best be used, see Bruce L. R. Smith, The Advisers (1992).
 IEEE-USA Sends Letter to FCC Urging Improvements in Consideration of Technical Issues, http://spectrumtalk.blogspot.com/2008/06/ieee-usa-sends-letter-to-fcc-urging.html (June 6, 2008 11:39 EST)