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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday March 27 2014, @02:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the follow-the-money dept.

Angry Jesus writes:

A rare auction of valuable frequencies has sent the big four carriers on a lobbying spree that may determine who controls your cell phone. Verizon and AT&T want the FCC to remove restrictions that limit the amount of spectrum any one single buyer can purchase, making the size of the bid the only consideration, and they've surreptitiously commissioned academic research they can use to back-stop their claims of why that would be a good thing. T-Mobile and Sprint have hired their own set of think-tanks to do the same for the opposite position, but they don't have as much money as the two big companies have to spend on "useful idiots" who agree with their positions but not necessarily their goals.

Behind all of these machinations lies the larger question are spectrum auctions and the attendant spectrum oligopoly even in the public interest at all?

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:11PM (#22123)

    "TV stations will be able to sell off their spectrum holdings in exchange for a portion of the price paid by bidders."

    Sweet!, private entities getting a cut of the public airwaves they were supposed to serve "in the public interest"

    Used to be they just got big chunks of money as they sold stations (and their licenses) between each other.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by MrGuy on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:59PM

    by MrGuy (1007) on Thursday March 27 2014, @05:59PM (#22143)

    To be slightly fair to broadcasters, as I understand it this was part of the deal when they were encouraged to switch technologies from analog to digital television broadcasting, which freed up much of the "new" spectrum to be reclaimed and re-used for this purpose. The incentive (supposedly) sped up the move to digital broadcasting by several years.