Democracy and Technology Blog

Broadcast spectrum for mobile broadband

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Broadcast spectrum for mobile broadband

Although Congress directed the FCC to allow broadcasters to offer “ancillary or supplementary services on designated frequencies as may be consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity,” it obviously hasn’t worked.
A column by Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. offers some clues:

Ask the media bankers and investors at a recent FCC roundtable. To a man and woman, they said the FCC’s stringent ownership rules have only cut broadcasters off from the capital to remake their businesses for the digital age.

And now, as Jenkins further notes, it’s no secret that planning is underway at the FCC to coax broadcasters into voluntarily relinquishing some of their spectrum so it can be assigned for mobile voice and broadband services.
Obviously the FCC goal is to put the spectrum in other hands instead of freeing broadcasters to develop cutting-edge services.