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Telecom Business Alert -- Vol. VII Issue 42

Date: Oct 27, 2010

FCC Releases Mobile Broadband Spectrum Forecast

Last week, the FCC released a technical and economic forecast of mobile broadband market trends. The report predicts that by 2014 mobile broadband traffic will grow to 35 times 2009 levels and is likely to outpace the capabilities of technology and network improvements. The report recommends that the Commission make available 500 MHz of new spectrum for wireless broadband within ten years. The Report was released as part of the FCC's Spectrum Summit, which included announcements by various officials regarding how the FCC will work to meet its spectrum goals.

FCC to Explore "Incentive Spectrum Auctions"

Also at last week's Spectrum Summit, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced that that he intends to propose rules at the Commission's November 30, 2010 meeting to lay the groundwork for incentive spectrum auctions. Under the proposal, incumbent licensees, such as TV broadcasters, would be able to voluntarily auction their spectrum through the FCC in exchange for a share of the auction proceeds. Interestingly, the FCC currently lacks statutory authority to hold incentive auctions but Genachowski says his proposal will lay the groundwork for action "should Congress act." Legislation has been introduced on Capitol Hill. The Commission also will consider sharing of broadcast spectrum for broadband applications.

NTIA Considering Spectrum Reallocation

Last week, National Telecommunications and Information Administration ("NTIA") head, Lawrence Strickling, stated in a speech that the NTIA will likely recommend 115 MHz of government-held spectrum for reallocation. Most of the spectrum is used by the Department of Defense for radar systems while 15 MHz is used for weather balloons and satellites. NTIA has reportedly been considering opening spectrum in the 4200 to 4400 MHz, 1675-1710MHz and 3GHz bands for wireless broadband use. Mr. Strickling said that recommendations were being reviewed by Obama administration officials and would be released soon.

FCC to Hold Cybersecurity Workshop

The FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau announced last week that it will hold a cybersecurity workshop on Friday, November 5, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Commission's Meeting Room in Washington, D.C. The FCC is seeking to develop a "Roadmap" to identify and address the five most critical cybersecurity threats to communications infrastructure and end-users. Those interested in attending must pre-register on-line at http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/event-registration.html by November 3, 2010.

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