FCC's McDowell opposes setting aside more TV spectrum for unlicensed use

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"At this early stage, it is not apparent that we should stop the progress well under way in the white spaces arena to create a solution for a problem — an alleged shortage of unlicensed spectrum in the 700 MHz Band — that may never exist," McDowell said.

McDowell said the point of the white spaces effort was to maximize efficiency and gain benefits from under-used spectrum. He also pointed out that such a large, contiguous block of spectrum would be clearly defined, exclusive and easily transferable, making it an appealing resource to be auctioned off to raise revenue.

"Given today’s unprecedented budget deficits, I question whether the U.S. can afford not to auction any and all spectrum recovered in this band," he added.

McDowell closed by pointing to efforts currently under way to take advantage of the white spaces and predicted that the new advances will have an even larger impact on the economy than the development of Wi-Fi.