Sparks fly at Senate hearing about spectrum auctions

There was general consensus at a Senate hearing yesterday that the wireless industry needs more spectrum, but there was little agreement on much else. At a Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet hearing on spectrum auctions, CTIA President Steve Largent and George Ford, chief economist for the Phoenix Center, argued against rules that would limit how much spectrum AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) should be able to get during the upcoming incentive auction of broadcast TV spectrum. Ford said AT&T and Verizon are more likely to use the spectrum efficiently than smaller carriers. That drew a sharp rebuke from Steve Berry, president of the Competitive Carriers Association. "I don't agree with much of anything Mr. Ford just said," Berry said. "If you live in rural America and you'd like to have access, there are carriers out there that would like to provide it. That's their business model." Article