The FCC is marching forward, trying to put together a plan for incentive auctions in the television space. The authorization to do this was granted by a vote of Congress and approval of the President, despite the fact that there as yet has been no comprehensive inventory of available spectrum. Now a key senator is asking once again that an inventory be taken.
The call comes from Mark Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and its key Communications Subcommittee. Additionally, his private-sector background includes playing a role in the early days of Nextel and co-founding Capital Cellular Corporation.
According to a Hillicon Valley report, Warner made his call for a spectrum inventory at an industry gathering.
He said that the incentive auctions in the television space were a good start, but said a complete inventory was necessary to make sure all available spectrum is being used effectively. In particular, he noted, spectrum held by government organizations often goes unused, and that lack of use often goes unreported – particularly when it is allocated to military or intelligence organizations.
He also said that public safety organizations that will be using the new space cleared for a nationwide interoperable communications network should be prepared to turn in the spectrum they were using previously, calling that a fair trade.
RBR-TVBR observation: This doesn’t seem like such an unreasonable request, particularly when companies that are holding undeveloped spectrum are trying their best to sell it – like the cable companies trying to sell to Verizon and like Verizon trying to sell to whomever will buy. How much fallow spectrum is there, really?