Friday, October 07, 2011

Super-Committee Sets Sights on Underutilized Government Spectrum

It's pretty rare these days for any bipartisan agreement on budget issues, but this letter from Senators Kerry and Toomey and Representatives Upton and Becerra is a hopeful sign. They are all members of the so-called Super-Committee, tasked with coming up with solutions to make a dent in our national debt.

The letter is short, so you can read it yourself. But, in essence, it urges President Obama "specifically, to make more efficient use of federal government spectrum and reallocate some of it for commercial broadband use.  In particular, we should put every effort into making available paired, internationally-harmonized spectrum below 3 GHz in sufficient block sizes to support mobile broadband services within the next 10 years."  

In truth, this should have been done by now. But better late than never. President Obama ought to get the government moving on this spectrum initiative that has bipartisan support. Reallocation of underutilized government spectrum would be good for the nation's economy in two macro ways: Private sector wireless broadband providers need the spectrum to be in a position to grow and offer innovative new services, and America's taxpayers would benefit from the reduction in the national debt attributable to the auction proceeds.