Tags: FCC | bandwidth | spectrum | wireless

FCC Scrambles for Wireless Bandwidth

By    |   Wednesday, 29 May 2013 08:08 AM

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scrambling to free up large amounts of bandwidth for exploding wireless use to avoid "the end of the world."

The more people email apps and download data with smart phones and other wireless devices, the larger the hunger for the bandwidth becomes. Without adequate bandwidth, service becomes slower and less reliable, and prices increase.

Global mobile data increased 70 percent in 2012 and mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent for the first time, according Cisco's Mobile Visual Networking Index.

Forbes Columnist:
‘Who the Hell Cleared This?’

At the current growth rate, carriers will inevitably run out of bandwidth, although they can manage for "a couple years," an FCC official told CNNMoney last year.

"I e-mailed my boss to ask what would happen if we don't free up enough spectrum," Tom Sugrue, T-Mobile's vice president of government affairs, said at a wireless industry conference panel discussion, according to CNNMoney. "He wrote, 'It will be the end of the world as we know it.' He didn't put a smiley face at the end or anything."

The FCC plans to hold "incentive auctions" next year to auction off bandwidths now being used by TV broadcasts, government agencies and other broadcasters so they can be used by mobile devices.

Unfortunately, it's not so simple. Carriers, broadcasters and government agencies disagree over the particulars, such as how the spectrum should be auctioned, what airwaves should be licensed and how much of the spectrum should be shared.

"It's no secret the incentive auctions ahead are complicated: There are policy pitfalls; there are opportunities to get caught in legal cul-de-sacs," FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel told CNNMoney. "Simplicity is the path to successful incentive auctions."

Rosenworcel wants to auction the 65 MHz spectrum all at once, and offer incentives rather than penalties to current license owners

FCC officials unveiled plans for increasing the spectrum for mobile devices at the annual CTIA trade show, Urgent Communications, a wireless industry magazine, reported.

“The incentive-auctions team is continuing to work on, and evaluate, all of the input and proposals received during our workshops and webinars, and the commission remains on track to issue auction rules this year and conduct an auction in 2014," FCC Acting Chair Mignon Clyburn said at the conference.

The FCC wants to hold a series of public hearings to gain input on "incentive auctions" in which spectrum used by TV broadcasters, who receive financial gain for giving up parts of the spectrum, will be sold.

Forbes Columnist: ‘Who the Hell Cleared This?’

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scrambling to free up large amounts of bandwidth for exploding wireless use to avoid "the end of the world."
FCC,bandwidth,spectrum,wireless
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2013-08-29
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 08:08 AM
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