Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spectrum is the Key for Broadband

Fred Wilson is a successful Internet venture capitalist from NYC. He blogged about the FCC's National BB Plan:

"The national broadband plan does call for another 500mhz of high quality spectrum to be used for "terrestrial broadband services" over the next decade. This blog post explains how that is proposed to happen. It appears that most of this 500mhz, if not all of it, will come from the broadcast television industry......"

Apparently, most of the spectrum in existence is going unused - not just TV but spectrum bought up over the years by so many companies like Clearwire, T-Mobile, Sprint, NextLink, and so many others. But Fred Wilson has an interesting take on the spectrum:

"So what I'd like to see in the National Broadband Plan is to make that entire 500mhz available as unregulated spectrum where anyone and everyone can build technologies, devices, markets, and businesses in it. I believe if we did that, instead of auctioning it off to several large established wireless carriers, we would see the kinds of gains our country needs to improve our broadband infrastructure. We'd also lead the world in the development of these new wireless technologies and create a boatload of jobs in the process."

This betanews blog post explains some more:

"FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Americans' consumption of mobile broadband has grown so quickly that we are almost at a bottleneck, and that more wireless spectrum is needed for it immediately. The plan, therefore, says that it will increase the 255 MHz - 3.7 GHz spectrum available to "terrestrial broadband services" (a.k.a., non-satellite) by at least 300 MHz in the next five years, and 500 MHz within the next ten."

But where will all of this wireless spectrum come from?

"Of the 300 MHz due in the next five years, 120 MHz will be coming from the broadcast television bands."

The FCC has just opened a Spectrum Dashboard.

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