AT&T's Stephenson wants broadcast spectrum; Genachowski glum about prospects

Wireless services demand more spectrum and AT&T (NYSE: T) Chief Executive Randall Stephenson thinks it's up to the government to provide it. "We have to do something to free up more spectrum," Stephenson said at a Brookings Institution forum.

The most likely way is to auction off some of what the feds have given to broadcasters. That's a notion FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski likes and supports and the broadcasters detest. The stumbling block--besides the broadcasters--could be Congress, which has shown an ornery side in telecommunications.

"I'm hopeful but not certain," Genachowski said of Congressional support. "There have been examples where smart, good ideas don't go anywhere."

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