Last Wednesday, the FCC released a Public Notice
seeking comment on a variety of aspects and uses of the TV broadcast spectrum.
Until now, the discussion has been somewhat binary and predictable. Many broadcasters want to simply maintain the status quo, and many wireless broadband proponents (licensed and unlicensed) would like most or all of that spectrum to become available to them.
In order to explore potential solutions, however, the discourse needs to become more constructive and more creative. The National Broadband Task Force has been charged with identifying and exploring ways to deliver robust broadband to everyone, and mobile broadband is an essential part of the solution. But mobile broadband won’t advance unless we can find spectrum to avoid crippling network congestion in the future. For better or for worse, broadcasters occupy one of the most attractive bands for mobile broadband applications, and we have an obligation to Congress, and to the needs of the country, to explore that spectrum’s evolutionary potential.
Thus, the real question that broadcasters should be asking themselves is “How can we best become part of a mobile broadband solution?”
For some broadcasters, the answer may well be to return their spectrum to the FCC via a market mechanism that we are trying earnestly to design. For others, the answer may well be to find an innovative way to do what broadcasters do best – deliver video wirelessly to receivers – to solve one of the biggest challenges facing mobile broadband today – delivering video wirelessly to receivers.
Hence our call for creative solutions. We seek ideas for market mechanisms for broadcasters who want to return some or all of the spectrum they currently use (or don’t use), and we seek innovative operational solutions from broadcasters who want to secure a place in the next evolution of our communications ecosystem.
Change is hard, but necessary, and often creates opportunities for visionary thought leadership. This is what we hope to see in the Public Notice responses, and look forward to working with the broadcast industry and others in the process of forging the most sustainable path to our wireless future.
Please respond with your ideas to this blog post, or file your comments using our Electronic Filing Comment System, using either ECFS Express
or our standard submission page
if you need to attach a file.