CEA’s Shapiro says ‘writing is on the wall’ for broadcast spectrum

November 13, 2009

In a press event promoting the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in January, CEA president Gary Shapiro declared the shortage of spectrum a “national crisis” and noted that airwaves controlled by broadcasters is the only spectrum now available that has not been paid for.

Noting the CEA’s controversial report to the FCC was an attempt to encourage “creative thinking” about the spectrum shortage, Shapiro said he will tackle the subject at the Consumer Electronics show when he interviews FCC chairman Julius Genachowski on Jan. 8.

Shapiro said the CEA is not directly supporting a reclamation of broadcast channels by the FCC and defended the group’s actions as a simple byproduct of technological innovation amongst a diverse base of members. But, the CEA president forecast an eventual battle for broadcast spectrum, noting that the Obama administration needs it for universal broadband access.

“The writing is on the wall,” Shapiro said. “Broadcast spectrum is something that government regulators will be looking at.”

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