FCC to Hill: Imperative To Seize Spectrum-Freeing Opportunity


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FCC to Hill: Imperative To Seize Spectrum-Freeing Opportunity - 2011-04-11 17:14:52 | Broadcasting & Cable
Julius Knapp, chief of the FCC's Office of Engineering & Technology, says the nation must "seize every opportunity to free up spectrum for mobile broadband."

That is according to a copy of his prepared testimony for an April 12 hearing on spectrum issues in the House Communications Subcommittee. The hearing is scheduled for about the same time that another Julius, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, is expected to be telling a crowd of thousands of broadcasters at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas how that effort can be a win-win for broadband and broadcasting.

According to a copy of Knapp's prepared testimony, he plans to tell the legislators the FCC supports ensuring a "healthy and robust" broadcasting industry. He says the incentive auctions that Congress will need to approve before broadcasters can be compensating for giving up spectrum will be voluntary and will not come at broadcasters' expense. But the FCC's definition of voluntary includes limiting the number of stations that would have to switch frequencies, and to "limit" loss of service.

The imperative in the FCC's seizure of the moment, if not the spectrum (the FCC says it remains a "voluntary" plan, is the spectrum "crunch," and Knapp counted the ways the FCC loves broadband, punctuated with loads of stats on app use and tablet and smartphone sales and online shopping. One example: downloaded mobile apps exploded from 300 million in 2009 to 15 billion in 2010. Then there were the pubic interest uses for broadband of remote healthcare monitoring, energy, education, entertainment and more.

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