Give Spectrum Its Proper Due

No matter what side of the spectrum debate you stand, I think we all can agree that it’s a topic that deserves its proper forum for resolution. So why are we lumping this under the broader discussion of extending unemployment benefits?

I’ve been following the debate around the proposed JOBS Act, H.R 3630 with active interest. The bill, for all intents and purposes, is a jobs bill designed to help extend unemployment benefits and spur new jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I am all in favor of anything that will get the employment situation moving in the right direction in this country. But I think it might be a bit unfair to try and lump a larger topic, spectrum, in with the proposed bill.

I guess I can understand the correlation between the two: spectrum means more growth opportunities, which ultimately leads to more jobs. But Section 4105 seems to have everyone all up in arms in that it supposedly would limit some of the conditions the FCC could enforce on auctions for spectrum that would be freed up from TV broadcasters.

So much so that a group of smaller carriers are literally writing their local senators. In all fairness, the larger carriers like AT&T and Verizon Wireless have been trying their best to take matters into their own hands in the past—whether it is through the purchase of spectrum from satellite or cable companies or through acquisition attempts. But thus far, things stand at a stalemate.

Sadly we are reaching a point where the spectrum issue could become a real crisis for growth of this market. Thus, I think we all can agree that it deserves the proper attention. However, as pressure mounts in Washington to pass a bill designed to help stimulate employment do the powers that be realize that their decision could ultimately have a major impact on perhaps the biggest factor dictating the health of connected devices and M2M going forward? Could it all raise more questions than it ultimately answers?

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