4G Coalition Stumps For D Block Auction

The Coalition for 4G in America, which includes
Clearwire, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile, will be making their case on Capitol
Hill Monday for auctioning spectrum in the D block.

Former Motorola Chief Technology Officer Dennis
Roberson will hold briefings on the House and Senate side about why the
coalition thinks an auction is the way to go.

The D block is the spectrum the FCC tried to
auction to create a public-private partnership to build a national,
interoperable public safety network. It failed to draw the FCC's minimum bid.
The FCC has made re-auctioning that spectrum, which 4G supports, part of its
national broadband plan. It would not mandate a public-private partnership, but
would require the winning bidder to make that 10 MHz of spectrum available for
public safety in an emergency.

But Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), chairman of the
powerful Senate Commerce Committee, has introduced a bill that would put the
spectrum directly in the hands of public safety. His bill would simply allocate
the 10 MHz to public safety, allowing it to lease the spectrum to commercial
users on a pre-empt basis. Rockefeller would fund operation of that network
with proceeds from the planned auction of broadcast spectrum reclaimed for
wireless broadband.

The 4G briefings come in advance of a Sept. 23hearing in Rockefeller's Committee
on creating that network.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.