Items tagged "Spectrum Reform"

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Keeping an Open Mind on Spectrum

January 11, 2010 Broadband , DTV , Innovation , NTIA , Spectrum Reform

As Harold has been saying, a long-term solution to the "spectrum crisis" is going to involve a lot more than just throwing more spectrum at the wireless industry. We also need to look at smarter ways of using spectrum. In this, we're in accord with NTIA, which recently told the FCC that they both "should explore ways to create incentives for more efficient use of limited spectrum resources, such as dynamic or opportunistic frequency sharing arrangements in both licensed and unlicensed uses." We're on the record as supporting these kinds of approaches.

Spectrum policy shouldn't be dogmatic.

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A Pragmatic, Sustainable Federal Spectrum Policy — Part I

January 11, 2010 FCC , NTIA , Spectrum Licensing , Spectrum Reform , White Space

Everyone involved in the National Broadband Plan (with the possible exception of broadcasters) says we need more spectrum. Everyone from Chairman Genachowski to the Department of Justice and the NTIA all agree we need “more spectrum“ to meet increasing demand and avoid a “spectrum crisis.”

As Gigi pointed out at the FCC workshop last October, this should sound familiar to anyone who has listened to our national debate on the “energy crisis.” And, like the energy crisis, we need a long-term sustainable strategy.

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The Media Bureau v. The National Broadband Plan

December 21, 2009 DTV , FCC , SOC , Spectrum Reform , White Space

At the December 16 Commission meeting, the folks working on the National Broadband Plan made a further presentation/sneak preview/trial balloon on what to expect when they publish the plan on February 17 (God willin' and the crick don' rise). While we at Public Knowledge criticized the plan for failing to have the courage of its convictions and the evidence by taking a pass (so far at least) on promoting structural separation, that does not make the plan worthless.

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Will Comcast Join The NAB? And What That Question Tells Us About This Merger.

December 3, 2009 Comcast , FCC , Network Neutrality , Network Open Access , Spectrum Reform

Few rivalries in the media world match those of cable operators and broadcasters. Since the first cable regulation by the FCC to prevent cable operators from importing blacked out sports events and "distant signals" that threatened local broadcast content back in the 1960s, broadcasters and cable operators have constantly sought regulatory advantage over one another. Broadcasters once ruled video as its unchallenged masters. Then came cable, which became the dominant platform for delivery of video. But broadcasting continues to aggregate mass audiences and produce more popular programming. Despite all the yapping about how no one can tell broadcast and cable apart anymore, neither one can survive without the other, but both have radically different interests. As a result, the broadcasters and the cable operators, and therefore their trade associations, are constantly at loggerheads.

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White Spaces Lurches Forward; FCC Releases Public Notice Soliciting Database Manager Proposals.

December 2, 2009 Broadband , Spectrum Reform , Unlicensed frequencies , White Space , Wireless

Over a year ago, the FCC took a major leap forward on deployment of broadband and rethinking our national spectrum policy by voting to open the unused broadcast channels for unlicensed use (aka the "broadcast white spaces")(you can find more on our issue page here). The Order left a bunch of questions unanswered, such as who would run the proposed database of available frequencies for white space use — an issue the Order said would be addressed in a future public notice. Petitions for Recon got filed, lots of requests for revision and modification of the rules got made, and then nothing happened.

In fairness to OET, it's been a busy year. First there was the change in Administration, then it was "DTV transition all the time" until the magic June 12 deadline. Then it was bringing on a new FCC Chair and two additional new Commissioners.

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Fun From San Diego: I Take A Pass At CTIA’s Discussion Questions

October 8, 2009 FCC , Network Neutrality , Spectrum Reform , TXTSMS , White Space

Gigi is out in San Diego today making a whirlwind appearance on spectrum. In addition to stopping by the FCC's workshop on mobile broadband and mobile applications (and delivering this amazing testimony here), Gigi is stopping by the International CTIA Wireless Conference to do a panel. As is often the case with these panels, they had some discussion questions to focus the group on the key issues and guide the conversation. While I expect Gigi will blog later about what actually happened, the discussion questions I saw looked pretty good to me. So I thought "hey, why not give my answers and show everyone why CTIA never invites me to speak at their conferences."

So here goes.

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The FCC Gets Serious On Outreach

September 14, 2009 Broadband , FCC , Spectrum Licensing , Spectrum Reform , Wireless

One of the longstanding problems noted but not generally addressed before in FCC policy has been "how to get the word out to folks not already plugged in as insiders to file comments." Traditionally, the FCC (like most federal agencies) has taken a very passive attitude. (Indeed, the FCC has traditionally been ahead of the curve. Many federal agencies have made it downright difficult for members of the public to find out what has been going on, or to file comments.)

In the last few weeks, the FCC has taken a number of steps forward on this. It started modestly with Twitter. Then came the the blog, including a video blog of Chairman Genachowski.

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Why Washington Needs To Hear From More Venture Capitalists (and pay less attention to Wall St. Analy

August 19, 2009 FCC , Innovation , Spectrum Reform , TXTSMS , White Space

The August 19 Wall St. J. contains an op-ed from former hedge fund manager Andy Kessler that at first blush looks like someone here at PK might have written it. Kessler starts with Apple blocking the Google voice ap, and runs through the way spectrum auctions re-enforce industry structure and lock in a tight oligopoly that damps innovation and allows those companies that actually have a pipe to charge ridiculous prices for services such as text. He notes that because mobile services are critical to our economic growth that this holds back economic development, and observes that it massively overcharges consumers.

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Spectrum Inventory Bill Moving Through Congress

July 15, 2009 FCC , NTIA , Spectrum Reform

BroadbandCensus.com reports that The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday approved S. 649, the Radio Spectrum Inventory Act, which would give the NTIA and FCC 180 days to present Congress with a complete inventory of the radio frequencies that they manage from 300 Megahertz to 3.5 Gigahertz.

The key provision of the bill is a new Section 342 of the Communications Act that would read:

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Obama Tech Team Finally in Place: Lots to Do Right Away

June 26, 2009 Broadband , FCC , Network Neutrality , NTIA , Spectrum Reform

After months of waiting, the Senate confirmed two key members of the Obama communications and technology team: new FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) director Larry Strickling (his official title is Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information). And not a moment too soon.

Here is what is facing the new leaders right now: NTIA (along with the Rural Utilities Service) is expected to issue its "Notice of Funds Availability" imminently for the $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus money, and that "NOFA" will include the rules for applying for the grants, as well as the conditions (like non-discrimination) with which a grantee much comply.

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