Originally published: April 22, 2012
Last updated: April 22, 2012 - 1:13pm
Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Copps said that he thinks there is a lot of spectrum lying fallow. "There is a lot of spectrum out there, and I don't think anybody in the United States has very much of a clue exactly how much spectrum is lying fallow," he said in an interview for The Communicators series on C-SPAN.
He was asked whether the FCC had been remiss in making sure spectrum was available. "I'll bet you there is a whole bunch of [spectrum] lying fallow that could fuel a whole lot of devices and fuel a whole lot of technology," which he said was an argument for a complete spectrum inventory. Copps said he hoped the commission would expedite incentive auctions, but he said he was not comfortable with taking spectrum from one consolidated medium (broadcasters) to give it to another (wireless). "That does not necessarily translate into automatic enhancement of the public interest," he said. Copps said he was concerned about the impact of the auctions and TV station repacking on noncommercial and smaller, diverse, stations. "There are almost so many unintended consequences when you do something that is this broad," he said. "What's the impact going to be on public television?" he said. Noncoms are definitely concerned. Those stations were behind a push for several billion dollars in government money to commercial and noncom stations to cover relocation costs.
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