CEA: Reallocating Spectrum Will Endanger DTV Transition

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The Consumer Electronics Association and the Hight Tech DTV Coalition (wireless and computer companies) have released a study taking aim at an effort to reallocate broadcast spectrum in the 700 mHz band.

Looking to capitalize on post-9/11 first-responder communications issues, a company called Cyren Call has proposed to build a public/private broadband emergency communications network using 30 mHz of spectrum being reclaimed from broadcasters in the switch to all-digital broadcasting.

The DTV transition bill that passed already sets aside 24 mHz for emergency communications from the band, with the remaining 60 mHz to be auctioned to help boost the federal coffers.

That is how CEA and the wireless companies want it to stay.

In the study, which they issued to counter Cyren Call lobbying for a bill creating the news network, CEA and company argue that reallocating the spectrum would endanger the DTV transition, and would actually hinder, rather than help, improvements in public safety communications.

It argues that the problem with emergency communications is not the amount of spectrum, which it says is not in short supply for first responders, but in interoperability, and that setting aside more than the 24 mHz already earmarked would leave less for the advanced wireless services the government is trying to promote.The study comes on the eve of a Senate Commerce Commitee hearing Thursday on public safety communications. Among the witnesses will be Morgan O'Brien, chairman of Cyren Call .

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