Originally published: January 12, 2010
Last updated: January 12, 2010 - 5:14pm
Finish the outstanding spectrum issues before reallocating broadcast airwaves, Sen Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) suggested in a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski.
"While I don't disagree that all options should be on the table as the Commission evaluates spectrum policy, it is imperative that the FCC first clear the table of outstanding spectrum-related items that have lingered at the Commission before extensively exploring other avenues. Concluding these unresolved items could dictate what additional steps the FCC should investigate," she wrote in the letter dated Jan. 5. Sen Snowe enumerated several open proceedings she said appeared "ready for prompt decisions that could enable the quick roll-out of significant additional spectrum."
Among them, WCS, short-hand for a proceeding about rules for licensing satellite digital audio radio service, or SDARS, in the 2 GHz band. The proceeding is more than 10 years old, and nearly resolved last year, but no action was ultimately taken by the FCC. Another, AWS-3, is 2 GHz spectrum dedicated to advanced wireless services five years ago. The FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on developing services in the band was issued in 2007 and raised a request to pair it with a swath of spectrum used by federal agencies. Snowe said to either pair it license it already. Spectrum also remains unlicensed from the 700 MHz auctions of 2008. The D block, as it's known, was set aside to create a public-private partnership, but no private enterprise stepped up.
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