Print 10 comment(s) - last by emarston.. on Dec 13 at 7:26 AM

Technology firms want some of the bandwidth allotted to federal agencies

A coalition of technology companies -- including some of the biggest names in the industry such as Apple, Samsung, and Intel -- have drafted a letter to Congress asking for more airwaves to be provided for smartphone and tablet computers.

The FCC is currently working on laws that would allow it to sell off some of the airwaves that TV stations currently own and allow cellular carriers to use the bandwidth. However, the companies believe that more options will be necessary to feed the [mobile] beast.

The coalition said in the letter, "authorizing new spectrum auctions is timely and relevant" with respect to the debate over the fiscal cliff.

The technology companies are urging both Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate technology committees to consider auctioning some the spectrum currently used by federal agencies.

"Now is the time to ensure the incentive auctions are as robust and successful as possible at liberating spectrum. We should also turn our collective attention on ways to reap the economic benefits of underutilized federal spectrum assets," the companies wrote.

The coalition suggests that Congress should offer incentives to federal users to push them into becoming "more efficient, to share with one another, to vacate, or to lease their spectrum." The technology firms also believe that spectrum-efficient technologies will not be able to meet the increasing demand for mobile data, adding, "as technology companies, we joined this debate because policymakers need to know that we cannot simply engineer our way out of this problem.”

Source: The Hill

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timely and relevant
By ShieTar on 12/12/2012 9:56:06 AM , Rating: 4
Because it takes way to long to use up those 200MB "Flatrate"-Budgets with a mere 100 Mbit connection.

RE: timely and relevant
By VultureTX on 12/12/2012 10:07:23 AM , Rating: 2
"2 seconds of data free each month is not acceptable" says the Cell Data CEOs, "We must start those data surcharges after the first second of use!"

/It's all about the surcharges. And that was true back when it was all about the Pentiums.

RE: timely and relevant
By Etsp on 12/12/2012 10:31:44 AM , Rating: 3
200MB at a rate of 100Mbps would take 16 seconds...

RE: timely and relevant
By VultureTX on 12/12/2012 11:03:49 AM , Rating: 2
"Well Nevermind" in sotto Emily Litella voice.

I thought both limits were in bits when I read it.

By DigitalFreak on 12/12/2012 12:55:34 PM , Rating: 3
Spectrum should be leased, not sold. If a company doesn't use the spectrum it leases within a certain period of time, say a couple of years, it automatically reverts back to the goverment to be leased to someone else. The big carriers are just sitting on unused spectrum right now in order to keep others from entering or expanding the market.

RE: Leased
By DigitalFreak on 12/12/2012 12:56:11 PM , Rating: 2
aka the "Shit or get off the pot" rule

RE: Leased
By Concillian on 12/12/2012 1:55:29 PM , Rating: 2
Not only that, leasing unlocks the true value of the spectrum by opening a revenue stream. I very much like the idea.

RE: Leased
By BifurcatedBoat on 12/12/2012 9:52:04 PM , Rating: 2
It'd be nice if the spectrum was given out by people's choice. You choose who you want your share of the spectrum to go to based on who you want as your wireless provider. They reconfigure based on userbase every so often.

RE: Leased
By emarston on 12/13/2012 7:26:27 AM , Rating: 2
Totally agree. They always want more, yet they aren't even fully utilizing what they have. Leasing sounds like a much more motivating way of encouraging them to fully use what they are authorized to.

Shift already happening?
By bupkus on 12/12/2012 3:04:33 PM , Rating: 4
Aren't many government agencies already using their cell phones for communication? Why build your own communication network when you can hide your transmissions inside commercial communication systems? IOW, why reinvent the wheel?

Didn't we already see government funding when building the Interstate Highway system? This was to provide rapid movement of troops and materials which became our roadway of commerce.

Again with the Internet which was to keep our lines of communication open for military effectiveness.

An argument is available for a release of radio frequencies to commercial applications which in time of emergency can be trimmed in real time for government agency exclusivity. This is similar to the use of commercial jet aircraft served over to our military in times of war. Cell phone companies could be required to run emergency tests to measure their responsiveness to sudden frequency need by emergency personnel.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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