CTIA, CEA Praise Obama Spectrum Plan Proposal

Wireless, consumer electronics industry groups applaud White House plan to fast-track FCC's reclamation process
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The wireless industry and consumer electronics manufacturers (who make all those broadband receiving devices) had lots of nice things to say about the administration's plan to fast-track the FCC's spectrum reclamation process.

"CEA applauds the President's plan to liberate underutilized broadcast spectrum as part of an overall goal of deploying 500 MHz of spectrum to solve our nation's broadband crisis," said Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro.

The White House on June 28 endorsed the FCC's proposal to free up 500 MHz of spectrum from government and commercial users for wireless broadband and other uses, and added momentum by calling for a spectrum inventory that would not have to await congressional action, and setting an October 2010 deadline (or less than four months) to hear back on where that 500 MHz should come from.

The FCC has already outlined a plan for getting some of it from broadcasters and mobile satellite, but the president has called on government users to work with the FCC and the Commerce Department on finding government spectrum to free up.

"In calling for doubling the amount of available spectrum, the President has issued a clear call to all stakeholders to stop protecting legacy businesses and embrace new technology as our best path forward," said Shapiro. "We look forward to working with the FCC and the Congress to implement this vital plan."

CEA has been pushing the FCC to clear broadcasters from spectrum it sees as underutilized. It submitted a study to the FCC from economist Coleman Bazelon last fall suggesting broadcasters were squatting on $62 billion in spectrum value and outlining a plan to take it all back.

"We thank the Administration for acknowledging the wireless industry's important role as an economic driver and for recognizing the potential that this spectrum holds for enhancing the lives of all Americans," said CTIA: The Wireless Association President Steve Largent. "The President's Memorandum and today's announcement are important steps in helping the U.S. wireless industry maintain our world leadership in mobile innovation."

CTIA has said it will need even more than that 500 MHz going forward to deal with the demands of an app-filed, mobile device-driven world.

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