Eshoo, Issa Tell FCC to Stay the Unlicensed Course

Say legislation requires enhanced access to unlicensed spectrum
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A pair of House members, representing
high-tech constituents, has urged the FCC to stay the course when it comes to
freeing up more unlicensed spectrum via the incentive spectrum auctions.

That
came in a letter Tuesday from Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), ranking member of the
House Communications Subcommittee, and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to FCC Chairman
Julius Genachowski.

In
the letter they point out that the legislation implementing the auctions also
included "enhanced access" to unlicensed spectrum.

"[T]he
commission should implement the incentive auction and resulting reorganization
of the band in a manner that optimizes the value of both licensed and
unlicensed spectrum access," they wrote, saying they support the FCC's
Sept. 28 incentive auction framework proposal of using guard bands between
spectrum users for unlicensed devices.

They
also cited several examples of the public benefits of unlicensed, including
progress in opening the so-called "white spaces" between current TV
channels the FCC has opened up to unlicensed use.

The
letter came a day before the House Communications Subcommittee is holding a
hearing on spectrum and the incentive auctions. In the majority staff memo for
that hearing, Republicans were critical of unlicensed spectrum set-asides,
arguing that it was giving away spectrum that could be auctioned. "Giving
away large swaths of spectrum for unlicensed use could deprive public safety
officials and taxpayers of billions of dollars," they wrote.

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