Wireless Spectrum Crisis Must Be Fixed
The FCC Chairman’s remarks during CES 2011 are a prelude to what can be expected if congress does not act fast to free up more spectrum for an increasing juggernaut; the wireless devices demanding an ever present and enormous amount of bandwidth to fuel data communications.
While the mobile industry has been on a monster quest in rolling out new devices from IPad’s, Smartphone’s’ with applications, including streaming video; the infrastructure within the U.S. will soon begin to falter in its ability to handle the massive data transfer required in simply allowing these devices to communicate properly. Mobile broadband traffic is expected to increase by 35X over the next five years according to Genachowsik’s recent remarks. In this scenario we cannot afford to lose as the current leader in mobility across the globe.
The fact remains that wireless infrastructures have not and cannot keep up with the demand for such sophisticated mobile electronics able to handle large amounts of bandwidth being communicated between now, millions of users. This could become an economic “boondoggle” if something is not done quickly to resolve the issue. Growth of wireless enabled bandwidth is not only a smart and forward thinking perspective; it is a mandate needing widespread support from all constituents affected by mobile’s innovation. Inaction can only slow and possibly stall our ability to continue and economic bright spot within our economy, and signal to the world we are not up to the task of maintaining leadership in wireless technology competitiveness. See (Spectrum Crisis Amnesia at CES: Same Time Next Year?)
Reallocation of Existing Spectrum
While the FCC has moved forward in exacting freedom of some unused spectrum, there remains more that could be done to free additional bandwidth currently sitting idle in exclusive Broadcaster held silos, like an overabundance of U.S. agriculture waiting to ruin if not sold. What is the stumbling block for the FCC to reclaim that needed spectrum? As in most outdated legislation passed many years ago, when the technology landscape looked much different, and what was seemingly good idea was passed into law; congress has failed to move on updating or retrofitting that legislation to today’s standards. See (Frequency Allocation Chart) In essence, the broadcast industry is setting on much needed wireless spectrum which it does not want to relinquish, and not without a caveat, at least, before giving it up.
FCC Chairman Genachowski has proposed a fair and equitable solution to the affair by auctioning off unused bandwidth held by broadcasters while at the same time promising to compensate them on the sale. In being generous to the industry, it would bring stellar prices and needed cash for broadcasters left with negative growth on linear programming associated with one channel networks. The bottom-line is that technology has changed and innovators like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) have changed the landscape forever. It is time for broadcasters to get on board with the FCC’s predictions, being heralded for the past couple of years, and agree to terms proposed for their industry, lest we see a spectrum crisis of economic proportions. See (Upton: Spectrum Bill ‘Likely’ To Include Incentive Auctions)