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FCC to vote September 28th on proposal auctioning UHF spectrum, Weird Al might still approve

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
September 9, 2012
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The FCC has been more than a little eager to repurpose spectrum as wireless internet access takes off: white spaces and iDEN frequencies have already switched roles, and that's not including the myriad of spectrum swaps. Add one more wireless variety to the list, as FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has confirmed his agency will vote on a proposal for incentive-based auctions of UHF spectrum. When the Commission meets next on September 28th, it will decide on whether or not to lure broadcasters into giving up the usually TV-focused space for the sake of data lovers everywhere. The freed-up airwaves in the proposal would mostly be unlicensed spectrum with "WiFi-like uses," but at a much lower frequency than the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands that WiFi needs today: as the first consistent, unlicensed spectrum at that range in the US, it could create opportunities for longer-ranged, free wireless that aren't even on the table in 2012. Not that we have much of a choice in taking action today. Any accepted rules won't be completely finalized until mid-2013, and the auction itself won't take place until 2014. Still, the UHF plans foster dreams of more wireless for everyone -- and we suspect that even one Mr. Yankovic wouldn't mind giving up Channel 62 for a long-distance home network.

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