Originally published: May 15, 2012
Last updated: May 15, 2012 - 9:53pm
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski will be discussing broadband -- almost exclusively -- when he talks up the FCC's role in maximizing the power of communications technology at a Senate Commerce Committee FCC oversight hearing May 16, at least according to his opening statement.
In fact, he uses the term "broadband" 18 times, and "wireless" nine, while there are no references to "broadcasting." He does refer to TV, but only to make the point that the FCC has already freed up some broadcast spectrum for unlicensed devices in the so called TV "white spaces." There is also an oblique reference to broadcasting when the chairman refers to unleashing "significant amounts of prime spectrum through incentive auctions."
Newly-sworn-in FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, appearing before the Senate committee she most-recently staffed, will give a shout out to incentive auctions and the FCC's history of delivering the goods -- raising $50 billion for the treasury. She also says she is confident that the "right mix of engineering and economics," the incentive auctions can follow in that tradition and, so long as the FCC follows the law, be "fair to all stakeholders."
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, also new to the job, wants the Commission to move swiftly to reclaim spectrum from broadcasters, as well as free up more bandwidth currently in government hands. Commissioner Pai also put in a plug for Universal Service Reform, saying it was a necessity, not a luxury, and pledged to roll up his sleeves on media ownership, saying "Our efforts must reflect the changing nature of our nation's media landscape while at the same time preserving the Commission's commitment to the core values of competition, diversity, and localism."
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