Obama Spectrum Proposal Must Include Plan to Promote Competition

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Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32

Obama Spectrum Proposal Must Include Plan to Promote Competition

WASHINGTON - President Obama today announced an effort to
make available 500 megahertz of spectrum currently controlled by the
federal government and private companies. Most of the spectrum would be
designated for auction for use in mobile broadband services. Some
aspects of the plan will require congressional approval.

Free Press Policy Counsel M. Chris Riley
issued the following statement:

"We are glad the White House is taking the necessary steps
to help move a crucial piece of the National Broadband Plan. We
encourage the administration to support the rest of the plan, which is
now in jeopardy, by endorsing FCC Chairman Genachowski's Third Way
proposal to restore the agency's broadband oversight authority.

"While today's announcement is commendable, additional
spectrum alone will not fix a broken market. For consumers to realize
the full benefit of this reallocation of our public airwaves, the FCC
and Congress must take steps to promote competition in the mobile
broadband industry. Congress, the White House and the FCC should commit
to dedicating a substantial portion of reallocated spectrum to
unlicensed usage, in addition to auctioned spectrum. The FCC should also
reinstate spectrum caps or tighter screens, impose and enforce
build-out requirements to ensure that companies do not warehouse newly
acquired spectrum, and move forward with handset exclusivity, data
roaming and other policy problems facing consumers in the mobile
broadband market."

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