Public Interest Groups Call Spectrum Legislation ‘Massive Step Backwards’

Eighteen public interest and other groups today asked that Congress protect unlicensed spectrum in any agreement to provide funds for the payroll tax cut or other legislative spending.

In the letter to the conferees on the tax legislation, the groups said that the provisions now in the bill, "would be a massive step backwards in the evolution of our Nation’s wireless policy. They would lead to greater consolidation, higher consumer costs, and reduced openness in the wireless industry."

The group said there were three concerns that needed to be addressed -- that there are no safeguards for an open network, no safeguards against further industry consolidation and that the legislation would eliminate new "Super-WiFi."

A copy of the letter is here.

Those signing the letter are:

Access Humboldt, Akaku: Maui Community Television, Center for Rural Strategies, Demand Progress, Future of Music Coalition, Institute for Local Self-Reliance,, Media Access Project, Media Alliance, Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN), National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture (NAMAC), New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, Partnership of African American Churches, People’s Production House, Prometheus Radio Project, Public Knowledge, UCC OC Inc., Writers Guild of America, West.

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