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White House gets involved in spectrum fight, says more is needed for competition's sake

Chris Ziegler

The Fed's already been aggressively moving to get out ahead of this impending spectrum crisis that everyone seems to be predicting these days, but now the NTIA -- the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration -- is chiming in, and the sentiment pretty much echoes what's already been said by everyone else (besides the broadcast TV peeps, that is). The NTIA's coming at it from the angle that wired broadband alone won't be enough to support sufficient competition for rural internet access, something that the FCC has made a priority, and that digging up free airwaves is now "a primary tool for promoting broadband competition." They've got some headwind and plenty of bigwig opposition to make that a reality, but there's some hope for freeing up a few slivers of government-owned spectrum as well; at any rate, it's said an additional 300MHz is necessary to keep pace with demand over the next six years, so it'll take a small miracle to keep everyone out of a crunch.

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