What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us
Codebreaker

SPECTRUM! Broadcasters huddle in Vegas to plot how to hold on to their frequencies

John Moe Apr 18, 2012
Codebreaker

SPECTRUM! Broadcasters huddle in Vegas to plot how to hold on to their frequencies

John Moe Apr 18, 2012


Oh, you guys. You know how I love a good spectrum story. Or any spectrum story. Because it’s the future of what we’re going to be able to do online and how enormous a pile of money we’ll have to fork over in order to do so. Politico reports on TV broadcasters getting together in Las Vegas to talk about how to defend all of their spectrum from the FCC. The government wants to buy back some of the spaces between channels in order to make those frequencies available to wireless companies in order to serve our insatiable hunger to dink around on our phones.

The wireless industry says the public has voted and wants more wireless access, thus the soaring amounts of data usage and the flocking to smartphones.

From Politico:

Broadcasters see their future as a mixture of broadcast and wireless, and they argue that their use of spectrum — their signals go from one-to-many recipients — is a better use of the limited federal airwaves than wireless carriers’ one-to-one recipient service.
Broadcasters said many are not interested in turning over spectrum that in some cases was allocated to them 50 years ago by the government. “They like the business,” said Ralph Oakley, president and chief executive of Quincy, a broadcaster in 10 small to midsized markets, of broadcasters he talks to who balk at the suggestion.

Any potential auction would be voluntary although broadcasters want to play as nice as they can with the FCC since all use of spectrum is not really ownership; it’s licensing that needs to be renewed.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.