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Computer Companies Seek Faster Spectrum Action

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation wants the FCC to "accelerate" the reassignment of spectrum via incentive auctions from what it calls "single-purpose legacy networks," by which it means primarily over-the-air TV, to mobile broadband.

ITIF, whose board members include representatives of Apple, Cisco, Hewlitt-Packard and Quaalcom -- all fans of spectrum, reclamation -- and Blair Levin, who headed up the FCC National Broadband Plan that proposed the incentive auctions, are billing it as a second DTV transition, and will outline and talk about the report at an event Tuesday in Washington.

According to ITIF, "clear spectrum rights, and reassignment of government spectrum to public use" will be among the report's recommendations. While broadcasters want "clear spectrum rights," and have argued that any reclamation plan has to look at all players to find that spectrum, they hardly see themselves as single-use players, arguing that the government needs to leave them enough spectrum to deliver mobile DTV and multicast channels and help with mobile wireless delivery and, with a little technical help, 3D.

Before the giveback can be accelerated, Congress must first give the FCC the authority to compensate broadcasters from the auctions. The president has made that part of his new jobs package.

Among those ITIF has assembled to discuss the report Tuesday are Levin and FCC Wireless Bureau Chief Rick Kaplan.