Silicon Valley Could Benefit From Spectrum Auction

Marvin Ammori, a visiting scholar at the Center for Internet & Society, is quoted on the White House's plan to increase the wireless broadband spectrum. David Louie of ABC 7 News reports:

Silicon Valley, once known for its computers and processor chips, has emerged as a leader in mobile technology, and valley tech companies are expected to benefit greatly from a new plan by the President Barack Obama's administration to increase the amount of wireless spectrum that mobile devices require. The president signed an executive order Monday to double the space available on the airwaves for wireless high speed Internet traffic.

Subject to Congressional approval, the government plans to auction off 500 megahertz of spectrum that is currently not used or little used by federal agencies and private companies. The money generated would help underwrite new wireless public safety networks and pay down the federal deficit.


"This is the prime spectrum that everyone wants their hands on, and the question is how do we use this very important spectrum to better our society and to reduce the federal budget?" Marvin Ammori, an expert in media policy and a visiting scholar at Stanford said.


Ammori expects years of fighting to free up the airwaves. The spectrum is currently used by TV stations and government agencies.

"You'll see a real knock-down, drag 'em out fight to keep hold of the spectrum, which is worth billions of dollars to broadcasters and could be worth billions to AT&T, Verizon, or to Google and others," Ammori said.


"You might want to see some spectrum be unlicensed as was the current plan and then you could see new tech companies using that to create new devices, new applications in ways that we can't even predict in the license model," Ammori said.