Genachowski On Spectrum: Yes We Could

The FCC chairman said the FCC had to overcome naysayers in coming up with the incentive auction plan for repurposing "beachfront" TV spectrum and in then shepherding it through Congress. The agency is moving ahead this week with a rulemaking implementing the law, he confirmed.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski yesterday gave his agency a pat on the back for cooking up and pushing through “incentive auction” legislation that encourages broadcasters to auction their spectrum to wireless broadband carriers.

“When we introduced this idea three years ago, the reactions were a) there’s no spectrum crunch, and b) the idea isn’t politically viable and will go nowhere,” he said in a major speech that reviewed the state of the nation’s broadband infrastructure and services and the FCC’s role in promoting it.

“Well, today virtually every expert confirms the vital need to free up spectrum, and the incentive auction went from idea to law, with Congress getting it done earlier this year.”

Genachowski said the FCC will launch later this week a rulemaking aimed at implementing the spectrum auction, which he called “a new paradigm in spectrum policy that uses market forces to repurpose beachfront spectrum used by TV broadcasters for licensed (think 4G LTE) and unlicensed (think Wi-Fi) wireless broadband.”

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Meagan Zickuhr says:

September 26, 2012 at 10:46 am

But no AOM Chairman????? “…..and the incentive auction went from idea to law, with Congress getting it done earlier this year.” However, this supposed “Law” is still 100% Voluntary…. isn’t it?! So don’t get your hopes up too high for this to go off without any glitches, lawsuits, etc. You’ve lied to us many times before Mr ‘G’, so why do we believe you now? SHOW US THE AOM!

    Ellen Samrock says:

    September 26, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Amy, don’t expect either an AOM or a spectrum inventory. An inventory would only invite embarrassing questions and the FCC has already acknowledged that an AOM is next to impossible given the protections built into the Spectrum Act. Congress has demanded both as well as admonished the commission to protect the various broadcast services but they don’t seem to have the will to really hold the FCC accountable or deny them the power to savage broadcasters if it fits the agency’s (read Genachowski’s) purposes. Only broadcasters can do it by not participating in the VIA. Yes, we’ll see if this is truly voluntary.

Ellen Samrock says:

September 26, 2012 at 11:22 am

Right. UHF spectrum is so prime, so “beachfront” that Verizon couldn’t wait to dump their holdings in the 700MHz band.


September 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm

the phrases “cooked up” and “pushed through” exactly describe what was done. The FCC is in the pocket of the broadband industry, committed to the destruction of over the air broadcast televisiion.

    Warren Harmon says:

    September 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Hit it square on the nose!

Dave Campbell says:

September 27, 2012 at 9:34 am

It would be nice if the FCC did a spectrum inventory before they start “cooking up” spectrum austion schemes.

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