Feb. 27, 2012  |   Mashable
In a recent address, FCC Chair Julius Genachowski cited two "major policy innovations" with creating economic value for people across the world: spectrum auctions and the freeing up of "junk band" spectrum for unlicensed use. The former allows the government to sell the right to broadcast on certain frequencies to the highest bidding company in an open auction. According to Genachowski, these auctions raised more than $50 billion in revenue and created "more than 10 times that much" in other benefits.


"Junk bands" that are used for unlicensed uses are heavily polluted, making them useless for long distance communication. However, the FCC freed them up for unlicensed use about 25 years ago, and the result was innovation in this space that created Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cordless landline-based phones. Unlicensed spectrum use has generated up to $37 billion every year in benefits.

Long-range unlicensed spectrum, also known as "white spaces," is made up of spectrum that's been allocated for a certain purpose but isn't actually being used in a certain geographic area. Genachowski says that developing these "white spaces" for mobile broadband could usher in a new age of mobile innovation, much like freeing up "junk spaces" allowed for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi's growth.

"This unlicensed spectrum holds tremendous promise to become another value-creating breakthrough on the order of magnitude of Wi-Fi," said Genachowski. "We're already seeing promising innovation and deployments in this space."

According to Genachowski, these innovations will help the U.S. deal with the "spectrum crunch" - the explosion in demand for wireless spectrum sparked by the rapid spread of mobile phones and tablet computers.

 

Wireless Innovation Alliance // 3:00 PM EST// Dec. 15
This October, the FCC found Marriott’s Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center to be guilty of blocking guests’ personal Wi-Fi hotspots and fined Marriott International $600,000. Lend your social voice to our Thunderclap. More
Wireless Innovation Alliance // 5:47 PM EST// Sep. 4
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler acknowledged the critical role unlicensed spectrum plays in growing competition in the broadband marketplace stating that the FCC's "efforts to expand the amount of unlicensed spectrum creates alternative competitive pathways." More
The Wireless Innovation Alliance (WIA) is a broad-based group of innovators, providers, consumer groups, think tanks and education organizations that believe that more efficient use and expanded access to the nation’s spectrum resources are fundamental to the future of U.S. economic policy and global competitiveness, and that we face potential spectrum scarcities in both licensed and unlicensed bands that must be addressed in order for innovation and investment to move forward.
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" Hotels can’t interfere with legal communications. Let the FCC know today! http://t.co/APHZchcj01 Use RM-11737 #hospitiful... "
4:05 AM Dec 19