The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday published an infographic that it says lays out graphically the increasing demand for radio spectrum to support bandwidth demand by mobile device users.
Called “Spec It Out!,” the illustration plots increasing demand. To meet it, the FCC said, more spectrum must be made available. One means to do that is through what CCC Chairman Julius Genachowski calls “voluntary incentive auctions.”
On Thursday, a coalition of TV stations and broadcasters unveiled an alternative plan. Read details here. The group disputes the concept of a spectrum crisis, saying there is a broadband problem.
Genachowski spelled out the FCC auction idea at an address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week.
“The spectrum crunch is the single biggest threat to one of the most promising parts of our economy. There’s much we need to do to free up spectrum for mobile broadband, but the single biggest step is voluntary incentive auctions.
“Under this proposal from our National Broadband Plan, spectrum licensees like broadcasters could voluntarily contribute underused spectrum to an auction, in exchange for a share of the proceeds from the auction. It’s an incentive-based approach, grounded in strong free-market principles, that would free up large blocks of beachfront spectrum for mobile broadband while preserving a strong and healthy TV business, and generating $25 billion in potential deficit reduction, plus at least ten times that in economic benefits.
“This proposal enjoys broad and bipartisan support. Companies representing a trillion dollars in revenue have supported it, from mobile to tech to consumer electronics. More than 110 of the nation’s leading economists have endorsed it, including Nobel Prize winners and former members of both Republican and Democratic administrations. It’s also won the support of a number of major TV networks and station owners that recognize that these auctions would be a win-win.”
The TV station coalition does not support the FCC plan and says it does not enjoy broad Congressional support.
The graphic, which is posted with this story, is downloadable here.
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