FCC considers auction of airwaves

Sept. 7, 2012 at 4:10 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Federal Communications Commission may auction off television airwaves to wireless carriers to create faster and more reliable networks, officials said.

The FCC's proposal is expected to outline how broadcasters will voluntarily give up airwaves in return for a share of the proceeds from the auction, The Washington Post reported Friday.

However, some analysts say they doubt the broadcasters will surrender the spectrum without a struggle.

The auctions to wireless carriers hungry for additional bandwidth would likely take place in 2014, an FCC official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to the Post because the plans aren't yet public.

If approved by a vote of the commission's five members, the plan would set in motion the FCC's first major auction of airwaves since 2008.

Wireless carriers have said they need more bandwidth or their networks won't be able to handle the explosion of traffic caused by increasing use of mobile devices.

Analysts say without more wireless bandwidth consumers could see a decrease in the quality of cellular networks in a few years.

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