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Buried Alive Under Misinformation

The following is an edited excerpt from a post by Paul
Rodriguez, senior director of social-media strategy at
the National Cable & Telecommunications Association,
on the blog

We can probably all agree that
spectrum policy is one of the more important
issues facing us today. Congress and
the FCC will have to juggle both the growing
demand for wireless broadband and the
needs of public safety organizations and first

But even though our nation’s spectrum
needs are already a complicated issue, there
are some who seem determined to muddy
the waters. I refer to recent “charges” — more
like accusations — that current licensees —
including cable-industry licensees — are
“warehousing” and “hoarding” spectrum.

As we pointed out in a recent letter to members
of Congress, we are big believers in broadband and
have spent tens of billions of dollars over the past decade
to bring it to market, including investments in
wireless businesses across a range of technologies and
business models.

For example, the letter refers to a variety of projects
across the country, such as BendBroadband’s deployment
of a high-speed wireless network in Oregon, utilizing
Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum, and
cable’s investment in Clearwire, which has deployed an
advanced 4G WiMAX network, currently offering service
in 88 cities.

This point of view was echoed recently
by Federal Communications Commission
chairman Julius Genachowski. In an address
at the Mobile Future Forum in Washington,
D.C., he addressed the idea that
“some licensees, such as cable and wireless
companies, are just sitting on top of,
or ‘hoarding,’ unused spectrum that could
readily solve that problem.” He pointedly
said, “That’s just not true.”

Anyone involved in rolling out these services
understands that it takes years to clear
AWS spectrum of incumbent licensees and
build out an advanced broadband wireless
network. Cable companies have paid billions
of dollars at auction for that spectrum and have
every incentive to put their investment to work.

As I said, this is an important issue, and one would
hope that all the members of the telecommunications
space could work together on solutions, instead of flinging
disinformation. Let’s hope we can now consider the
air cleared.