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05.23.2003
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
MAP to FCC: Open “beachfront” TV broadcast spectrum to unlicensed access

The Media Access Project, a non-profit public interest law firm that promotes public access to electronic media, immediately challenged the FCC’s approach to unlicensed spectrum, suggesting it should really be freeing the publicly owned spectrum now being used by broadcasters.

Associate Director Harold Feld responded to the FCC white paper (see previous story) on the use of unlicensed spectrum. Feld said that for unlicensed spectrum to flourish it must have access to useful bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. “Instead, the FCC has sought to lock up the most valuable bands in secondary markets, while trumpeting unlicensed access to less valuable bands. Not all spectrum is equal. If the FCC really wants to advance the cause of unlicensed access, it will permit unlicensed access in the ‘beachfront’ of the television broadcast bands rather than in the spectrum equivalent of Florida swamplands,” he said.

For info on the Media Access Project visit www.mediaaccess.org.

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