This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Opinion: New Spectrum Policy to Decide U.S. Wireless Future

By Rick Boucher



NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sometimes I can be a little spoiled: Yesterday's luxuries turn into necessities that I can't possibly live without. The cool new gadget that once amazed me becomes ho-hum, just another tool I take for granted. I expect the smartphone in my pocket to work anytime, anywhere and, upon the next upgrade, to be better and faster. But for smartphone users across the country, here's a warning: The future of the mobile device we love so much depends on policymakers in Washington and what they decide about spectrum. It's essential that they get it right.

Spectrum, the radio frequencies that enable wireless devices to talk to one another, is in short supply -- a spectrum crunch is upon us. The Federal Communications Commission now confronts some tough decisions regarding how best to free up more of this resource so our mobile phones and tablets continue to work the way we expect.

Congress sets national spectrum policy. Last year it gave the FCC the task of drafting rules to auction off underused broadcast TV spectrum -- "600 MHz spectrum" -- so that wireless carriers can continue to provide fast and accessible mobile broadband service. At the same time, in its effort to further wireless competition, the FCC is reviewing its existing "spectrum screen," the tool used to flag whether a service provider controls too much spectrum in any individual market.

Congress was clear on how the agency should approach these very different tasks. In the 2012 Congressional Spectrum Act, Congress directed the FCC to allow all financially qualified bidders to compete in the 600 MHz auction to maximize auction proceeds and to ensure that the carriers can buy the spectrum they need to meet customer demand. On spectrum concentration, Congress affirmed the FCC's ability to change its spectrum screen through its formal rulemaking authority that includes notice and public input.

Yet, the Department of Justice now appears to advocate that the FCC should ignore Congress' clear direction and instead approach these two separate activities through a single proceeding and in ways that would make the auction of 600 MHz spectrum more complicated and less effective.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
S $4.72 -1.46%
T $32.75 -0.21%
VZ $48.56 0.29%
AAPL $123.25 -0.80%
FB $83.30 0.35%

Markets

DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs