White House Backs FCC Plan For Wireless Broadband

If you’re having trouble getting a signal on your smartphone, the White House feels your pain. The Obama administration has endorsed an FCC plan to nearly double the bandwidth available for wireless devices by freeing up additional wireless spectrum. But don’t expect blazing speeds or better signals overnight. The plan will take several years to implement, require congressional approval, and is tied to a bandwidth auction to get the carriers to pay for the right to use the spectrum.

As downloaded by The Wall Street Journal:

The FCC’s plan for reallocating spectrum could take several years and any auctions would require congressional approval. The White House is calling for billions of dollars in proceeds from the auctions to be used for building a new public safety network for police and firemen and to help pay for other “growth enhancing infrastructure,” like high-speed rail projects.

A key part of the move will also be to help build a nationwide interoperable mobile broadband network for public safety, an administration official said.

As proposed, some of the new bandwidth will come from government agencies that currently “own” certain frequencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Other frequencies could come from TV stations, though broadcasters have already expressed concern about possible pressure to give up frequencies.

“We appreciate FCC assurances that further reclamation of broadcast television spectrum will be completely voluntary,” said Dennis Wharton of National Association of Broadcasters.

So, add this possible battle to the issues that will keep you waiting for all of that juicy broadband.

Obama to Nearly Double Spectrum for Wireless Devices [WSJ.com]


Edit Your Comment

  1. jessjj347 says:

    Am I missing something? Wireless G is still the most popular, and it’s on an unregulated frequency…
    How will this help?

    • jessjj347 says:

      P.S. I couldn’t read the article because it says I need a subscription lol…
      newspaper sites are still doing that?

    • stopNgoBeau says:

      802.11g is a short ranged based communications protocol. It was made to mimic the twisted pair standard, so getting anything more than 100m of distance between you and the transceiver is hard to do.

      What this is supposed to accomplish is create a WiMax type network like they are implementing in Europe and other dense population areas. Think 3G data for cellphones, but much much faster and much much more reliable.

  2. pot_roast says:

    Naturally, it will have to include a bunch of DRM and “copyright protection mechanisms” … with RIAA lawyers in Obama’s cabinet, this is very likely. (There are five of them on the DOJ alone)

  3. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    Yes, yes…iPhone calls are so much more important than bullet proof vests for our soldiers.
    Obama, you disappoint me. And what’s with that ‘Americans need to make sure their children speak Spanis’ as opposed to immigrants learning English. Really?

    Crazy Politics…wait, what website am I on?

    • JJ! says:

      Tell me I’m just blind to the sarcasm/snark today?

    • coren says:

      Considering that in most other first world countries, especially in Europe, they learn several languages, I don’t see the big deal about us learning a second.

    • stopNgoBeau says:

      Yup, I agree. We should stop all funding for everything, halt all progress on all grounds, until we get every soldier a bullet proof vest.

      Sarcasm, indeed. You see, unlike the iPhone 4, governments, especially those that have multiple people that make it up, can work on more than one task at a time.

    • kujospam says:

      LOL, wrong prez, that was Bush. There hasn’t been any reports of this. Send Link please.

  4. RogueWarrior65 says:

    Of course this will be riddled with gumint-controlled backdoors and an off switch when they don’t want you to be able to freely spread the facts about something that would embarrass them.

    • JJ! says:

      That doesn’t actually make sense. If the government owns the network, they need no backdoor to access the network – they can do that by nature of ownership and administration. Also, ownership of a network doesn’t give them direct access and control over your machine anymore than Starbucks controls your devices when you’re on their wireless connection.

      They could, however, switch it off or disconnect you, but the amount of effort it would take to actually do something which most would regard as a violation of free speech is much more than if they…didn’t.

  5. Best Broadband Deals says:

    In the UK, we have the problem of lack of spectrum also. We’re in the middle of a national switch from analog TV (e.g. UHF) to digital which should free up some much needed bandwidth. I think we’re still 10 years off from complete migration to digital though.