Hutchison urges caution before reallocating spectrum


Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) wrote an opinion piece in The Hill asking the FCC for a “daring, comprehensive” National Broadband Plan – but also said that the Commission should do a thorough inventory of all spectrum use before plunging headlong into repurposing strategies.

She recognized the rapidly growing need for additional spectrum, but counseled that the full range of possibilities needs to be taken into account before making any hard decisions.

“Finding additional spectrum for future needs must be a focus of the federal government, and the Commission’s report should include discussion of the options available to help us realize that goal and the challenges likely to be confronted,” wrote Hutchison. “There are no easy answers to our spectrum needs, but the Commission’s analysis must look broadly at all spectrum use by commercial entities and the federal government before reaching conclusions about particular spectrum that should be reallocated.”

She also said that with the government scraping for funds these days, it will be important to encourage private investment to get adequate broadband infrastructure up and running.

Hutchison concluded, “The Federal Communications Commission’s forthcoming report to Congress can be a catalyst for decisive action to bring the benefits of broadband technology to all Americans and to close the gap between the United States and other developed countries in the communications capabilities available to individuals and businesses. For that to happen, the Commission’s report must itself be bold and comprehensive.”

RBR-TVBR observation: To us, this means don’t even think about grabbing space from any up-and-running service until all other possibilities have been thoroughly examined. Especially when it’s as popular as broadcast television is.