F.C.C. to Promote a Trading System to Sell Airwaves

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From: Dan Kohn (dan@teledesic.com)
Date: Sun Mar 12 2000 - 22:14:36 PST


I predict that this policy will be the coup de grace in allowing the
broadcasters (the most politically powerful lobby in Washington) to sell off
the prime digital TV spectrum they were *given* a few year ago.

WASHINGTON -- As the airwaves grow ever more congested with modern wireless
communications, the federal government is developing plans to open up the
spectrum by, in effect, treating its frequencies as commodities to be bought
and sold as routinely as pork bellies or soybeans in the open market.

Officials at the Federal Communications Commission say they are preparing
rules that would create a trading system in which telecommunications
companies of all kinds, from old-fashioned radio stations and telephone
companies to purveyors of wireless Internet services, could bid for
underused slivers of the spectrum that are already under the control of
other companies.

"What a tragedy it would be if, right as we're on the verge of the Internet
migrating to inexpensive handheld devices and offering real hopes of truly
democratizing the technology, the movement would be stymied by overloading
the spectrum," William E. Kennard, the chairman of the Federal
Communications Commission, said in an interview on Friday.

                - dan

Daniel Kohn <mailto:dan@dankohn.com>
tel:+1-425-602-6222  fax:+1-425-602-6223

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