Sunday, February 19, 2012

So much to rant about, so little time

The FCC's answer is to clear more space in the wireless spectrum, and sell it to the highest bidder. Open frequencies are in high demand, even as channels set aside for the nation's TV broadcasters go unused. Christian Sandvig is a media professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He says most of us have cable.

Christian Sandvig: By some estimates, you might say about 9 percent of the population of the United States is watching television over the air, and dropping. On the other hand, the population of people who want to use cell phones, especially smartphones, to do things like browse the Web, keeps increasing.

So Congress has decided to auction off slivers of the spectrum, hoping to raise around $22 billion. TV stations will be given a small share of the proceeds, if they agree to give up the channels they were authorized to use for free.

Sandvig: Here -- if you just get off this spectrum, we'll give you some money.

You could call it making money out of thin air.

As longtime readers have probably already guessed, I'm going to have more to say about this.

1 comment:

  1. A key piece of this emerging story has to be the status of broadcast television -- dying dinosaur or scrappy new competitor. It makes a huge difference which one best characterizes the industry.