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25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
A series of posts describing how this all came about. (Click on picture above)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

FCC Disinterest in Spectrum Policy:

WRC Gets Snubbed

The Washington Post today had the following article, based on a Communications Daily article, about an FCC snafu dealing with WRC-07, the major ITU radio conference. While the FCC is traditionally respected around the world by other regulators as a leader, this snub to the WRC will only hurt US prestige at the ITU and will have long term consequences since other countries send the same people to all ITU conferences year after year and have a longer term view than the "8th floor".

Readers may wonder whether I disagree with Chairman Martin's spectrum policy. The answer is simple: He and the 4 other commissioners are in charge and I respect their decisions. My main criticism is the lack of any clear policy, lack of effective interaction with the public and spectrum community, and increasing secrecy in policy formulation. Wireless and other spectrum using activities are not only a large industry but it is key to increasing productivity and economic growth in the US. Spectrum policy does not deserve to be the stepchild of FCC policy deliberations. The US economy will pay the long term consequences of the present disinterest long after the present commissioners are gone.


FCC, Barely Present and Accounted For
In the Loop, By Al Kamen Wednesday, October 31, 2007; Page A17

Seems there's some tension at the Federal Communications Commission -- not just over policy matters but even over noncontroversial matters.

We're told no one at the FCC was particularly excited about going to the World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva starting last Friday, but commissioner Robert McDowell volunteered to attend the opening session. He pretty much had his bags packed and was ready to go but Chairman Kevin Martin, who's had some differences with fellow Republican McDowell, wouldn't sign off, Communications Daily reported.

An FCC presence at the conference apparently isn't critical, but it's helpful to have a high-level person there to show the flag and signal that the issues are of interest to Washington. Back in 2003, commissioners Kathleen Abernathy and Michael Copps both attended.

Late Thursday, Martin tapped commissioner Deborah Tate, who was already going to be in Europe by the end of the week, to attend, the trade paper reported. But she wasn't going to make it to the opening sessions, marking the first time in quite a while that no commissioner was on hand.

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