Obama Spectrum Proposal Lauded by CTIA, CEA

Washington -- The wireless industry and consumer-electronics
manufacturers (who make all those broadband receiving devices) had lots of nice
things to say about the administration's plan to fast-track the Federal Communications
Commission's spectrum-reclamation process.

"CEA applauds the President's plan to liberate
underutilized broadcast spectrum as part of an overall goal of deploying 500
MHz of spectrum to solve our nation's broadband crisis," said Consumer
Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro.

The White House on June 28 endorsed the FCC's proposal to
free up 500 Megahertz of spectrum from government and commercial users for
wireless broadband and other uses, and added momentum by calling for a spectrum
inventory that would not have to await Congressional action, and setting an
October 2010 deadline (or less than four months) to hear back on where that 500
MHz should come from.

The FCC has already outlined a plan for getting some of it
from broadcasters and mobile satellite, but the president has called on
government users to work with the FCC and the Commerce Department on finding
government spectrum to free up.

"In calling for doubling the amount of available
spectrum, the President has issued a clear call to all stakeholders to stop
protecting legacy businesses and embrace new technology as our best path
forward," said Shapiro. "We look forward to working with the FCC and
the Congress to implement this vital plan."

The CEA has been pushing the FCC to clear broadcasters from
spectrum it sees as underutilized. It submitted a study to the agency from
economist Coleman Bazelon last fall suggesting broadcasters were squatting on
$62 billion in spectrum value and outlining a plan to take it all back.

"We thank the Administration for acknowledging the
wireless industry's important role as an economic driver and for recognizing
the potential that this spectrum holds for enhancing the lives of all
Americans," said CTIA-The Wireless Association president Steve Largent.
"The President's Memorandum and today's announcement are important steps
in helping the U.S. wireless industry maintain our world leadership in mobile

The CTIA has said it will need even more than
that 500 MHz going forward to deal with the demands of an app-filed, mobile
device-driven world.

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.