Genachowski tries to sell broadcasters on wireless broadband auctions

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski worked to reassure broadcasters that if they voluntarily give up some of their spectrum for wireless broadband services, they will benefit.

Speaking at the National Association for Broadcasters show in Las Vegas this week, Genachowski defended the commission's plan to free up 500 megahertz of spectrum for mobile services during the next decade, with 120 MHz of that coming from existing broadcast TV spectrum. TV broadcasters however have voiced opposition to the plan.

Genachowski's first line of defense was detailing why more spectrum is needed for mobile broadband. "Data from multiple sources submitted as part of our broadband record tell us to expect a 40-fold increase in mobile Internet demand over the next five years," Genachowski said. "That 40-fold increase in demand compares to a three-fold increase in spectrum for mobile broadband coming online."

The agency hopes TV broadcasters will make more efficient use of their spectrum by in part broadcasting multiple HD streams on what would have been a single channel, thereby freeing up airwaves that could be auctioned for mobile broadband.

"The plan would give broadcasters the choice to contribute their licensed spectrum to the auction and participate in the upside," Genachowski said. "If a relatively small number of broadcasters in a relatively small number of markets share spectrum, our staff believes we can free up a very significant amount of bandwidth."

For more:
- see this Light Reading Mobile article

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