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January 10, 2011

FCC to push forward broadcast spectrum auction proposal

Looking for broadcasters to voluntarily give up airwaves in lieu of portion of revenue from selling the spectrum

By CBR Staff Writer

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski has said that unleashing spectrum to support mobile innovation is at the top of the FCC’s 2011 agenda.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) conference in Las Vegas, Genachowski said the future success of this industry, and America’s innovation future, depends on whether US government acts quickly to unleash more spectrum.

According to him, without action, demand for spectrum will soon outstrip supply.

Genachowski is looking for broadcasters such as CBS Corp to voluntarily give up airwaves they don’t need in exchange for a portion of revenue from selling the spectrum.

Genachowski said he’s hopeful that if Congress passes the legislation soon, an auction could happen in a year or two.

Genachowski pointed to growing demand for mobile broadband stemming from the proliferation of data-hungry devices such as tablets.

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Genachowski cautioned that if the government doesn’t manage to free up more spectrum for mobile broadband, consumers will have to choose between poor service and high prices.

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