The FCC is coming for the schools and churches just like that crazy guy on the corner told you! On June 12, it'll require anybody using a wireless microphone that operators in the 700 MHZ spectrum to stop using that mic. That's right. The purge is coming! For microphones!. Actually, it'll affect Broadway shows, too. Will the FCC be able to round up the ne'er-do-wells? Will Google ruin U.S.-China relations? Well, that's another story. Literally.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1150 … Read more
Editors' note: This is a guest column. See Larry Downes' bio below.
While much of the technology policy conversations at CES concerned positive developments such as the imminent National Broadband Plan, one dark cloud appeared at every turn.
Nearly every speaker invoked fears of a looming "spectrum crisis" in wireless communications. Simply put, the faster that U.S. consumers embrace new mobile devices and services, the faster we will run out of available frequencies that can handle the increased traffic.
LAS VEGAS--On his first visit to CES as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski on Friday reiterated key policy objectives to free up more wireless spectrum and encourage competition in the TV set-top box.
Top on the chairman's list of issues to emphasize while chatting with Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro here at 2010 CES was the need for more wireless spectrum to be used by wireless broadband providers. He said spectrum scarcity is a key issue that he faces on a daily basis as he deals with communications policy. And he said it was crucial … Read more
WASHINGTON--The wireless and TV broadcasting industries faced off for the first time at a congressional subcommittee meeting on the Hill on Tuesday, setting in motion what could be a long drawn out battle over whether wireless spectrum should be reallocated and where the government will get this new spectrum.
Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA, the wireless industry group, and Gordon Smith of the National Association of Broadcasters, were among the witnesses gathered before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet to discuss what the CTIA and the Federal Communications Commission have … Read more
The Federal Communications Commission opened a formal proceeding Wednesday to get feedback on whether it should reclaim some spectrum licenses held by TV broadcasters and auction them off to wireless broadband providers.
The public comment notice issued by the FCC is the first step in a process that could pit TV broadcasters against the FCC and the wireless industry.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a speech earlier in the week that he is interested in taking back some of these airwaves to re-auction them for use in building new wireless broadband services.
Broadcasters oppose a plan under which they'… Read more
The Federal Communications Commission is shaking up the communications market with bold initiatives to overhaul the $7 billion Universal Service Fund to help pay for universal broadband and reallocate wireless spectrum for new wireless broadband services.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski presented plans for revising the USF program and reallocating spectrum during a speech on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., at The Innovation Economy Conference.
The Universal Service Fund is a $7 billion federal subsidy program that is funded by fees added to consumer phone bills. The USF was originally designed to provide subsidies to pay for phone service in rural … Read more
SAN DIEGO--In his first major address to the wireless industry, the new Federal Communications Commission chairman, Julius Genachowski, offered some good news for wireless operators at the industry's biannual gathering here Wednesday. But he reiterated the FCC's plans to apply new Net neutrality rules to wireless, a plan that has met resistance among the industry's major players.
As part of his speech, Genachowski announced a new initiative to add more spectrum for high-speed Internet access, and he offered assurances that the FCC will help speed up 4G wireless roll-outs by cutting through red tape for new tower … Read more
Microsoft researchers may have taken a step closer to finally turning unused analog TV spectrum, known as "white spaces," into unlicensed spectrum that can be used to deliver new wireless broadband services.
Researchers from the software giant, along with academics from Harvard University, have developed a protocol that the company claims could be the foundation for products that meet Federal Communications Commission requirements for avoiding interference when using unlicensed "white space" spectrum. The researchers presented their ideas this week at the ACM SIGCOMM 2009, a communications conference held in Barcelona, Spain, according to an article published on MIT's Technology Review Web site.
"White space" spectrum is unused wireless spectrum that sits between analog TV channels. Because much of this spectrum operates at lower frequencies, it can travel longer distances, much longer distances than the unlicensed frequencies used for Wi-Fi devices. Most Wi-Fi devices operate at 2.4 GHz, whereas, white space spectrum between analog TV channels 21 and 51 operate in the 512 megahertz and 698 megahertz range. (Signals transmitted over lower frequencies tend to travel longer distances at slower speeds, while signals transmitted at higher frequencies tend to be faster over shorter distances.)
Technology companies, such as Google, Motorola, Microsoft, and Dell, have been lobbying the FCC for years to open this spectrum for unlicensed use. The hope is that the spectrum could be used to augment existing wireless services or eventually be used to create new wireless broadband services.
But TV broadcasters and wireless microphone companies have long opposed the use of this spectrum, saying it will interfere with their services.
After a series of prototype tests, the FCC in November finally agreed to open up unused broadcast TV spectrum for unlicensed use. But the commission put together a set of strict guidelines designed to ensure that devices using the unlicensed spectrum would not interfere with existing TV broadcasters or other devices using the same unlicensed spectrum, such as wireless microphones.… Read more
Faced with a whopping $1.7 trillion deficit, President Obama is proposing tacking on a spectrum license fee to wireless operators to help generate revenue for the government.
The Obama administration's proposal was loosely outlined in the new budget plan for 2009 and 2010 submitted Thursday. In that plan, the administration proposes adding a new fee to be paid by wireless carriers that license wireless spectrum from the government.
AT&T could end up with the lion's share of the wireless assets that Verizon Wireless must get rid of as part of its acquisition of Alltel, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The newspaper cites sources who said that AT&T is among several bidders hoping to get their hands on the Alltel subscribers and network. The private-equity firms Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts & Co., supposedly are bidding on the assets together as is Providence Equity Partners on its own. At least one cable provider also has expressed interest, the Journal says.
In … Read more