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FCC Insider: Spectrum Crisis 'Manufactured'
'To The Uncertain Benefit Of A Few'
by Karl Bode 06:10PM Tuesday Feb 01 2011
As we've been covering for several weeks, the FCC has been pushing the idea of a "spectrum crisis," despite the fact that most of the major players (with perhaps the exception of T-Mobile) are already squatting on plenty of spectrum, and technology like Wi-Fi and femtocells can help offload congestion. As the White House now looks to the Pentagon for this unabated spectrum fix, an insider at the FCC tells industry analyst Dave Burstein that the crisis isn't a crisis at all. In fact, it's a completely manufactured drama by an FCC boss who is either clueless about technology, or doing the blind bidding of larger entities (read: likely AT&T) who already squat over billions in unused spectrum:
quote:
"There was a big push to manufacture a spectrum crisis," came the email from inside the FCC. "It's a lie that's being perpetuated to the uncertain benefit of a few and definite detriment of the rest." A second senior source confirmed. I even found a highly suggestive document trail. Releasing more spectrum is a good thing in the long run, but one of the least important issues for many years. It's unclear whether Julius realized he was telling a "politician's truth" when he said at CES "demand for spectrum will soon outstrip supply." Julius' background is as a deal-making lawyer for Home Shopping Network who knew little about communications when he took the Chairmanship. It could be that the folks at the FCC who recognize the error were unwilling to say "the emperor has no clothes" on something he's made his highest priority for 2011.
Why manufacture a crisis? Because selling the spectrum makes the government money, squatting on it creates scarcity, by proxy making spectrum worth more for squatters, all while keeping the spectrum out of the hands of new entrants and competitors. Many are already wondering if a government so supposedly dedicated to efficient use of spectrum shouldn't take a spectrum inventory, then impose "use it or lose it" requirements on the choicest bits of real estate. That makes more sense when you remember this is a valuable resource that technically belongs to -- you.

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waiting4fios

join:2005-04-08
Howell, NJ

Use it or lose it

That's why there should be a use it or lose it policy for spectrum. The truth of the matter is that spectrum is limited. Companies should be required to give a timeframe in which they plan to use the spectrum before they are allowed to purchase it. If they don't use it, then they lose it. This would keep companies like at&t from buying and sitting on spectrum just so no one else can use it.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: Use it or lose it

if at$t, and alike, used what they' had; they'd be able to cover every corner of the country with every technology possible as far as GSM and CDMA and LTE with no problems at all.

and as far as TWC's they should be required to start building out something to. Their first plans where to create their own cell phone company only later to resell Sprint and never market the service. Then killed it and still has the spectrum. They should sell it to Cox and generate more $$$$ if its in the AWS band.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

It's more than that.

Big telco and big cable is determined to make everyone pay for tv. They want to kill free tv by creating this artificial spectrum crisis.

dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4

Re: It's more than that.

said by fifty nine:

Big telco and big cable is determined to make everyone pay for tv. They want to kill free tv by creating this artificial spectrum crisis.

BINGO!
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nothing00

join:2001-06-10
Centereach, NY

Re: It's more than that.

He who controls the pipes controls the universe!

... or something like that anyways.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH
how do you figure? they can keep OTA where it is at and keep selling off other frequencies. Big Telco has no real interest in getting people to buy CATV as they have a very small coverage of TV compared to the MSOs. and you'd do the same if you were the MSOs making $$$$ for all he customers.
rdmiller

join:2005-09-23
Richmond, VA

Where are the new entrants going to get theirs?

If AT&T and Verizon are squatting on spectrum, where are the new entrants going to get theirs? 'Use it or lose it' is a catchy jingle, but it's flat out unconstitutional. New spectrum has to come from somewhere else.
LostInWoods

join:2004-04-14

1 recommendation

Re: Where are the new entrants going to get theirs?

What would be unconstitutional is to seize the auctioned spectrum without compensation. But I think it would be perfectly legit to simply repay the auction fees for unused spectrum and put it back out to bid under a "use it or lose it" deal.
mitsu06mr

join:2010-06-07
Ozone Park, NY

Re: Where are the new entrants going to get theirs?

And what makes you think bigger competition would not buy it again and squat on it? Jesus you guys are ridiculous.
zolcos

join:2010-05-19
Houghton, MI

Re: Where are the new entrants going to get theirs?

said by mitsu06mr:

And what makes you think bigger competition would not buy it again and squat on it? Jesus you guys are ridiculous.

because any FUTURE licensing of spectrum could come with a built-in stipulation that unused spectrum will be lost without compensation. Since the buyer would have to agree to that beforehand, it wouldn't constitute unreasonable seizure.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by LostInWoods:

What would be unconstitutional is to seize the auctioned spectrum without compensation. But I think it would be perfectly legit to simply repay the auction fees for unused spectrum and put it back out to bid under a "use it or lose it" deal.

I agree with that. Don't use, then lose it. But you have to give them their money back.

And one of the few times I agree with Karl. The spectrum shortage being phony.
WernerSchutz

join:2009-08-04
Sugar Land, TX

Re: Where are the new entrants going to get theirs?

said by FFH:

said by LostInWoods:

What would be unconstitutional is to seize the auctioned spectrum without compensation. But I think it would be perfectly legit to simply repay the auction fees for unused spectrum and put it back out to bid under a "use it or lose it" deal.

I agree with that. Don't use, then lose it. But you have to give them their money back.

And one of the few times I agree with Karl. The spectrum shortage being phony.

They should not get anything back. Learn from the scum airline industry. You buy and do not use it, you lose.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA
It is not unconstitutional for the government to seize it through condemnation. Since the holder has chosen not to use the spectrum it is questionable that it still has the same value as when it was acquired.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: Where are the new entrants going to get theirs?

said by Sammer:

Since the holder has chosen not to use the spectrum it is questionable that it still has the same value as when it was acquired.

...not true.

DC er

@atlanticbb.net

Deaf Ears

I have heard and seen presentations by smart spectrum guys like Darrin Mylet who have been saying this for a long time.....it seems like many of these public officials either will not listen or have other agendas.....no excuses.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

Re: Deaf Ears

said by DC er :

it seems like many of these public officials either will not listen or have other agendas.....no excuses.

Their other agendas are well paid cushy jobs once they leave government.

At an advanced ATSC symposium later this month a plan that would effectively let the spectrum now occupied by TV channels 38 to 51 be used twice or even four times for both broadcast TV and 4G mobile cellular and improve the performance of both will be presented. Because it would require the entire 84 MHz to remain in the TV Band it is probably not what the FCC wants to hear.

ctceo
Premium
join:2001-04-26
South Bend, IN
Reviews:
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D.U.H. check

Tell me something I didn't have figured out by the time I graduated from Middle school.

We all know that if every provider of bandwidth would open the floodgates, the internet would perform just as it had been before the gates were open, the bottlenecks would shift around a bit, but that's about it.
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