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Belmont Club

Dominating the New Discourse

June 28th, 2010 - 3:30 pm

When President Obama “signed a memorandum to nearly double the amount of federal and commercial spectrum available for smartphones and wireless Internet devices,” as reported by the Wall Street Journal it was part of the FCC national broadband plan which aims to make an addition 500 MhZ of spectrum available to broadband over the next 10 years.  The President’s action highlights the start of an the effort to reshape the new town square.

The FCC’s strategic goals are broader than a mere expansion of wireless broadband spectrum. They are intended to reshape the Internet access terrain. Among the FCC goals according to its plan are “competition policies”, efforts to efficiently assign spectrum, promoting broadband access in “high cost” areas and among low-income Americans and to assist in the functioning of public education, health care and government operation. The Atlantic Wire has a summary of the things it plans to change.

An official tells Politico’s Mike Allen the plan is meant to “foster investment, economic growth and help create hundreds of thousands of jobs by meeting the burgeoning demand for mobile and fixed broadband, other high-value uses and benefits for other industries …

Engadget’s Chris Ziegler writes, “It’s looking more and more like at least some privately-held spectrum is going to need to be reallocated involuntarily …

The New York Times’ Edward Wyatt notes, “some aspects could be opposed by television broadcast companies, which will be asked if they want to give up some of their spectrum for auction. Cable companies that have invested heavily in wired telecommunications networks could also lose from the new direction.” …

The New York Times’ Edward Wyatt notes, “some aspects could be opposed by television broadcast companies, which will be asked if they want to give up some of their spectrum for auction. Cable companies that have invested heavily in wired telecommunications networks could also lose from the new direction.” …

Politics Daily’s Alex Wagner writes, “The White House is seeking further seeking Congressional approval to use proceeds from the auction of federal spectrum to upgrade federal agencies’ communications systems and establish a new, ‘interoperable wireless broadband network for public safety.’ The aim of this network would be to ensure better coordination between emergency services across different jurisdictions, a problem identified in the wake of 9/11.”

The public policy which defines network access will probably be one of the most important subjects of the coming years.


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