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FCC Commissioners Get Feel-Good First Meeting

The FCC's May public meeting, featuring the first votes by
new commissioners Ajit Pai and Jessica Rosenworcel, was a noncontroversial one,
with unanimous votes on three items.

Those were to: 1) Further explore the use of aerial-based
communications technologies -- floating cell towers, as it were -- in times of
emergency when terrestrial-based communications is compromised; 2) to approve
the allocation of spectrum for medical monitoring technologies and 3) to free
up some 800 MHz spectrum for wireless broadband by lifting channel-spacing
limits and technical limitations.

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel sounded encouraging words
for incumbent spectrum users, saying in comments on the inquiry into
aerial-based communications that it was essential to make sure that they did
not interfere with existing networks.

All three items deal with mobile communications and
broadband, the FCC's laser-like focus of late, particularly the last item and
its focus on freeing up more spectrum for broadband.

Chairman Julius Genachowski talked up the FCC's mobile
broadband action plan, which includes removing regulatory barriers, freeing up
spectrum for unlicensed use, and conducting reverse incentive auctions to
reclaim broadcast spectrum.

Commissioner Robert McDowell welcomed his colleague,
Republican Ajit Pai, with typical humor, pointing out that his name was tied
for the shortest in Commissioner history (joining Fly, Coy, Cox and Lee), as
well as being the only one that could be spelled with a single Greek letter.