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McDowell: NTIA Report Suggests Executive Branch Resists Relinquishing Spectrum

Commissioner Robert McDowell pressed the White House Thursday to get serious
about freeing up more government spectrum for wireless broadband. Broadcasters
have also called for the government to do its part even as it pressures
broadcasters to give up their spectrum.

McDowell, speaking to Telecom equipment
vendors and providers at the TIA 2012 Conference in Dallas Thursday, said 
Executive Branch agencies did not provide data to support the "assumptions
and conclusions" of a recent National Telecommunications & Information
Administration report on availability of government spectrum.

"The thrust of the report seems to
indicate that the Executive Branch is going to resist relinquishing more
spectrum," he said, according to a copy of his speech.

McDowell said that the government is sitting
on 60% of the "best" spectrum. "Federal users have no
incentive to move off of this prime real estate but do have an incentive to
keep the rest of us in the dark about how much it really would cost to move
them and how long that task would really take."

He called on the Obama Administration to rectify
that. "I therefore respectfully reiterate my call for the West Wing of the
White House to demand that Executive Branch agencies redouble their efforts to
find spectrum to bring to auction by a date certain."

That was part of a four-point plan he said
would help speed mobile broadband deployment and use. The other three were to
implement new incentive auction law with "humility, simplicity and
regulatory restraint," speed its reviews of "secondary spectrum
deals," (that would include the current review of the Verizon/SpectrumCo.
sale, though he made no mention of that deal since it is currently before the
commission); and look at waiver requests for interoperable public safety LTE
networks on a case-by-case basis.