Busy FCC looks at broadband regulation, spectrum grab

Despite the belief that the midterm election voters served as dentists defanging the FCC, the agency believes it still has enough chomp to bite into two beefy issues: broadband regulation and spectrum reallocation.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has plenty of bark and will try to put some bite into it with a broadband regulatory framework forbidding service providers--both wired and wireless--from blocking "lawful" content but lets broadband providers charge different rates for different levels of service. The proposal will come up for a vote during the agency's Dec. 21 meeting.

Meanwhile, the agency plowed ahead by unanimously voting to make fixed and mobile wireless service "co-primary users" of TV spectrum along with TV stations already in that space. It also suggested that one that one TV station could share a 6 MHz slot to free up more spectrum for wireless.

The steps are part of an overarching plan to free up 120 MHz of spectrum to deal with a spectrum crunch-at least from the wireless and FCC perspective. Broadcasters, of course, have taken a much warier approach to the matter.

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