David Kirkpatrick

July 16, 2010

Did the FCC actually do something good here?

I’m pretty suspicious of government activity by default because all too often something that sounds both reasonable and sensible turns out to have a dank underbelly that undermines anything good in the action. Keeping that in mind this move by the Federal Communications Commission actually sounds like a good idea. Hard to believe I just typed that line.

From the link:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously today to initiate a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment on easing restrictions and paving the way for satellite spectrum to be used for land-based mobile broadband service. The move would be a significant step toward freeing up the 500 MHz of spectrum bandwidth by 2020 to meet growing wireless broadband needs.

The FCC proposes to change the rules for how satellite companies are allowed to use the Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) airwaves they control to spur more innovation in delivering mobile broadband spectrum. A second proposal from the FCC would allow satellite companies to relinquish MSS spectrum in exchange for a return of the profit when those airwaves are auctioned off.

FCC commissioner Michael Copps explains in a statement “As demands for speed and mobility increase, so does the demand for spectrum upon which mobile wireless broadband rides. Unfortunately, we can’t make any more spectrum, so we need to find ways to optimize our supply by expanding flexibility of use for licensees and improving efficiency through new and innovative technologies.