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FCC may play Robin Hood taking form rich broadcasters and giving to the poor mobile broadband providers

The FCC is considering many ways to increase the amount of available wireless spectrum to be had for wireless broadband service. According to the FCC and others, the country is already facing a looming shortage of airwaves to support broadband.

One of the plans on the table for the FCC to consider would have it taking back a portion of the airwaves that TV broadcasters are currently using and auctioning those off to wireless broadband providers. Blair Levin, the person in charge of crafting the FCC national broadband plan said, "The record is very clear that we're facing a looming spectrum gap."

It is not clear at this early stage if the proposal to take some of the airwaves away from TV broadcasters will make it to the final FCC national broadband plan or not. The final plan is set to be released in January. What is clear is that if the taking back of broadcaster airwaves does make the final plan, broadcasters will fight.

The National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton said, "[The NAB] believes it is imperative that policy makers explore spectrum efficiency choices that don't limit consumer access to the full potential of digital broadcasting."

The FCC would not simply take the airwaves away and would reportedly spend about $12 billion to buy the airwaves back and $9 billion to move homes using OTA TV to digital or subscription services. However, the auction for the reclaimed spectrum would net the FCC as much as $62 billion.

The homes relying on these airwaves are also likely to be among those that just purchased new TVs or converter boxes during the digital transition that happened this summer adding more confusion and expense for them. Wharton continued saying, "CEA's study ignores the immeasurable public benefit of a vibrant free and local broadcasting system that is ubiquitous, reliable as a lifeline service in times of emergency, and flexible enough to include HDTV, diverse multicast programming and mobile DTV."



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RE: Government takeover
By JediJeb on 10/28/2009 11:54:24 AM , Rating: 2
A news story today mentioned that prison inmates are getting H1N1 vaccine allocated to them when it could be going to the school children around the country. Seems to me some priorities are getting mixed up.


RE: Government takeover
By HrilL on 10/28/2009 12:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
Its all about money. It cost the government more if prisoner get sick and it cost them a lot less if children do. Likely their parents have insurance coverage that will cover the costs of the children getting sick.

Also H1N1 could spread very fast in a prison setting so the costs could be astronomical if they have an outbreak.

Just like how education budgets are the first to get slashed whenever a government needs more money. They should see things differently. If you spend a lot on education its like investing on the future because with more educated people the economy is likely to grow bigger and thus produce more tax money.


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