At The Hill, Sara Jerome reports that the Obama administration is pushing hard for its spectrum auction plan:
Administration officials outlined their case for devoting a larger swath of the airwaves to mobile broadband, saying policies to promote communication on tablets and smart phones will also create jobs and reduce the deficit.
“The issues of spectrum and of wireless communications are going to be essential to our growth,” said Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, adding that the revenue from the auctions could help reduce the deficit.
The National Association of Broadcasters, which represents the owners of spectrum pinpointed for auctions, has stated they support the President’s plan as long as the auctions are voluntary. However, questions remain about whether enough broadcasters would participate. Also undetermined is how AT&T’s proposed merger with T-Mobile, which would ease some of the spectrum crunch in the short term, will affect the auction plan moving forward.