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« Don Borchert: Pioneer Broadcast Engineer, Educator, and Antenna Visionary | Main | I Will Serve Steven Slater's Prison Sentence. Righteous Dude. »

August 10, 2010


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I'd really like for someone to discuss the Google/Verizon policy proposal in the context of the finite wireless spectrum. I've been looking everywhere for the last two days and no one has addressed these two issues. As you know, I'm a big supporter of network neutrality and preserving an open internet. However, I've been doing a lot of reading in the last month about the lack of spectrum available. Obama and the FCC have both called for freeing up more space, but government agencies (like NASA, the NSA, FAA) and television stations aren't budging.

I'm not convinced that because I use my blackberry for checking email and reading the occasional news website I should be charged the same rate as someone who watches HD streaming films while riding the bus to work in the morning.

Help me out here.


Hey Barry,

I'm serious about wanting more information on wireless spectrum issues. Can you help me out and address my concerns?



Seriously, I've been waiting for eight days for a response.

Barry Orton

Sorry, Jesse. I've been occupied with family health issues.

I agree that spectrum is a problem and a finite resource. The FCC and NTIA have to come up with 500 MhZ of spectrum that can be reallocated. Here's what the NTIA head said yesterday:

"There are four work flows. First and foremost is finding the 500 Mhz. By Oct. 1, we have been directed to providing a plan and a timetable as to how we will conduct that analysis, which will lead to 500 mHz being identified that within 10 years can be made available for commercial broadband services.

We were separately asked to look at a handful of bands that don't involve any relocation of federal operations but to determine whether there were opportunities to make some of that available for commercial broadband.

Also as part of the October plan, OMB is supposed to provide information and a plan for how they can provide the financial assistance to federal agencies who might incur expenses related to either the reallocation or relocation. And then the fourth work flow is the directive to work with the National Science Foundation and other government agencies to come up with a plan for research and development in spectrum sharing. That does not have an Oct. 1 deadline, but the previous three items will be done by Oct. 1.

What you will see Oct. 1 will be a report from us regarding these fast-track bands. You will see a larger plan and timetable to do a larger evaluation to find the the 500 Mhz within 10 years, and you will also see OMB's plan for providing assistance."

More detail at:

That's as much as I know.

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