Washington

CES: Genachowski Cites Need for Additional Spectrum

Also announces plan to expand Wi-Fi spectrum by as much as 35% 1/09/2013 06:46:21 PM Eastern

Complete Coverage: CES 2013

CEA president and CEO
Gary Shapiro dubbed FCC chairman Julius Genachowski the "spectrum chairman" in
a wide ranging interview over FCC policies that saw Genachowski defend spectrum
auctions, announce plans to free up Wi-Fi spectrum and say he had no plans to
leave his current post.

Shapiro
began the hour long interview by telling Genachowski that "we want to call you
the spectrum chairman because freeing up spectrum has been the hallmark [of your tenure at FCC chairman]...On
behalf of the industry I appreciate
your focusing on spectrum and the dire need for spectrum."

Genachowski
quipped in reply "I accept this honor on behalf of the FCC staff" and
reiterated his longstanding contention that freeing up spectrum would encourage
innovation.

"I
don't think it is a surprise that broadcasters who aren't interested in
tendering [spectrum] would rather this not happen," he said. "But we need to do
this for the country. It doesn't make sense in New York to have 28 full power
licenses."

Looking
forward with spectrum, he announced that the FCC would be looking into ways to
expand Wi-Fi spectrum, adding later in the session that they hoped to expand it
by as much as 35%.

"When
you see how much more video wants to travel over Wi-Fi, we are announcing today
plans to free up a substantial amount of spectrum for Wi-Fi to relieve the
Wi-Fi congestion at conferences and at air ports and ultimately at home," he
said.

A
key goal was also to open up spectrum in a way that would allow for future
technology advances that might require spectrum for new uses.

"We
can't be in a position where" such and such technology "is the last big idea,"
he said.

In
a later discussion of spectrum, he also noted that once the incentive auctions
are completed and the broadcast spectrum is repackaged, there would continue to
be space between broadcasters. These white spaces will open up opportunities
to free up additional spectrum, he said.

Ensuring
competition was also a top priority at the commission, he said, as a way to encourage innovation.

Genachowski
also dismissed rumors that he might leave the agency. "I love area I work in
and love showing up for work and don't have any plans for that to change," he
said.

September
October