FCC's Genachowski eyes spectrum sharing, praises cable companies' Wi-Fi pact

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski once again said the government will need to look for ways to share spectrum with wireless carriers as a method of bringing new spectrum to market, hitting again on the theme of opening up airwaves for mobile data.

fcc julius genachowski


"We have to do things like look harder and more carefully at government spectrum" and explore "innovative ways" to share spectrum,Genachowski  said at the Cable Show in Boston Tuesday. He said the government needs to explore ways to re-license its own spectrum for commercial use.

The comments echo ones he made earlier this month at the CTIA Wireless conference in New Orleans, where he outlined a three-pronged approach to help bring more spectrum to market. His menu of options included "core opportunities," or getting the most out existing tools; "emerging opportunities," or making use of new tools; and "charting the new frontier" of wireless innovation. He said that the plan is "not an à la carte" approach but an "all of the above" approach.

In New Orleans,  Genachowski  said one of the new frontiers includes the recent finding by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration that 95 MHz of spectrum currently in federal hands, the 1755-1850 MHz band, could be repurposed for commercial wireless use and shared with carriers. He said spectrum in the 1755-1780 MHz band could be paired with the 2155-2180 MHz band to extend the AWS band by an additional 50 MHz. He added that T-Mobile USA filed an experimental application with the FCC to test the sharing concept.

On Tuesday  Genachowski  praised a recent announcement by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks to create a nationwide Wi-Fi roaming network for their subscribers. The companies will create new network name, "CableWiFi," for subscribers to use when accessing the Wi-Fi hotspots. The network spans more than 50,000 hotspots.

"Cable has been leading the way in innovating around Wi-Fi," Genachowski said, adding that the Wi-Fi roaming pact is "great."

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article
- see this Multichannel News article

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