At CES, FCC chair warns of mobile 'spectrum crunch'--for the third time

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#1
This a decent article if you read the whole article and the comments.
Here is the link.
At CES, FCC chair warns of mobile 'spectrum crunch'--for the third time | CES 2012 - CNET Blogs
LAS VEGAS--In a keynote address yesterday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sounded a warning for mobile broadband users. "We're threatened by a looming spectrum crunch," Genachowski said. "This is the dark cloud around the silver lining."

The explosion in innovation in mobile computing, evident everywhere here atCES, could come to a crashing halt if the government can't provide more bandwidth to mobile broadband carriers and their customers. And that, Genachowski said, would threaten U.S. jobs and technical supremacy.

Trouble is, that's precisely the warning Genachowski has delivered in his previous two appearances at CES. And in the interim, almost no new spectrum has been allocated for mobile broadband.


Read more: At CES, FCC chair warns of mobile 'spectrum crunch'--for the third time | CES 2012 - CNET Blogs
What's the holdup?
If everyone agrees that more spectrum is essential, what's holding up progress? The most significant issue is a lack of inventory. Since 1994, when Congress finally embraced spectrum auctions first proposed by Nobel prize-winning economist Ronald Coase in 1959, the FCC has conducted more than 80 auctions, generating more than $50 billion in revenue for the Treasury and incalculable value to consumers and the economy overall.

But there is almost no spectrum left. It's all been allocated, much of it given away for free in the early days of radio and television. So in order to hold new auctions, some current license holders will have to give up their frequencies to better and higher users.

There are plenty of places to start looking. In the private sector, television broadcasters are holding some of the most valuable frequencies--the "beachfront property" for mobile broadband. Yet even after the transition to digital broadcast, the number of U.S. households that rely on over-the-air signals continues to plummet. Perhaps fewer than 10 percent of homes get their TV exclusively over-the-air.

Government agencies are also major holders of spectrum, and there is widespread belief that much of that bandwidth isn't being effectively used--or used at all. But prying spectrum out of the hands of government agencies has proven difficult at best for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which manages federal spectrum.


Read more: At CES, FCC chair warns of mobile 'spectrum crunch'--for the third time | CES 2012 - CNET Blogs
Legally, the FCC is an independent "expert" agency that reports to Congress. But the agency has strayed dangerously close to the White House, and shown signs of a political agenda.

For example, even supporters of the agency's 2010 Net neutrality rule-making found the year-long process chaotic and the result unsatisfying. The agency's zeal to kill AT&T's proposed merger with T-Mobile USA also raised eyebrows. The eventual approval of the Comcast-NBC Universal deal in early 2011 came loaded down with dozens of on-going conditions, many irrelevant to legitimate concerns over harm to competition.

Broadcasters also objected to the proposed auctions, fearing that "voluntary" auctions might become involuntary if insufficient spectrum was offered.


Read more: At CES, FCC chair warns of mobile 'spectrum crunch'--for the third time | CES 2012 - CNET Blogs
 

dkreichen1968

Moderator
Staff member
#2
Yet even after the transition to digital broadcast, the number of U.S. households that rely on over-the-air signals continues to plummet.
How does this work when in quarters 2 and 3 of 2011 total pay-TV subscribers reported by the big 8 and Frontier went down by close to 60,000 subscribers and Antennas Direct was selling 80,000 antennas a month. I mean, before you say stuff, check to see if your sources can be trusted. Anything that comes out of CEA or Nielsen can't be. If Gary Shapiro said it there is a 99% chance it is a lie!!!
 
Top