Gov't plans to double available wireless spectrum

Jun 28, 2010
President Barack Obama walks on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington upon arrival from the G20 Summit in Toronto Sunday, June 27, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(AP) -- The Obama administration intends to nearly double the available amount of wireless communications spectrum over the next 10 years in an effort to keep up with the ever-growing demand for high-speed video and data transmission to cell phones, laptops and other mobile devices.

President on Monday committed the federal government to auctioning off 500 megahertz of federal and commercial spectrum. Revenue from the auctions would be spent on public safety, infrastructure investments and deficit reduction.

In a memo to heads of federal agencies and departments, Obama said he wanted to unleash the full potential of wireless broadband and spur innovation.

"This new era in global technology leadership will only happen if there is adequate spectrum available to support the forthcoming myriad of wireless devices, networks and applications that can drive the new economy," Obama wrote.

National Economic Council director Lawrence H. Summers was to explain the new policy in a speech Monday at the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank. In an excerpt released by the White House, Summers said the initiative could "help to create hundreds of thousands of jobs."

The administration said it hopes to encourage the spread of across the country, including rural areas. The auction is intended, in part, to counter fears of a potential "spectrum crunch" as and laptop computers become more popular and new wireless devices hit the market.

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DaveGee
5 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2010
Why do I always shake my head when the government outright sells our nations frequency. Lease it! Sure make it a 99 year lease or longer, but for goodness sakes don't sell it lock stock and barrel. Lease it with provisions to cancel said lease due to various stipulations that would prevent 'speculators' from buying specific frequencies and then letting them sit unused (holding it hostage so the specific residents can't benefit) until someone with deep pockets finally wants to expand their services.

I dunno... I'm not a lawyer nor a lawmaker nor a wireless expert but even still I gotta believe we need to really think twice before we continue to sell off the airways to XYZ Inc.

Like land, frequencies are a finite resource and given their importance in our world we really need to be more careful about how we control them.

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