Wireless firms push for spectrum, Dingell pushes back

Wireless industry trade group CTIA and the Consumer Electronics Association are calling on the FCC to immediately open a formal proceeding to investigate potential reallocation of valuable airwaves for mobile services.

In a filing with the agency yesterday, the groups said there is an "urgent need" for a significant amount of new, licensed commercial wireless spectrum and "the Commission should leave no stone unturned in its quest for identifying spectrum."

They say that, under the Communications Act, the FCC has an obligation to evalute the state of advanced television service licenses and whether the spectrum is being used in the most efficient way possible.

But Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), a senior member of the House Commerce Committee, said he is worried about any plans that would disrupt broadcasters' licenses.

In a letter to the FCC, Dingell said broadcasters already surrendered nearly one-third of their spectrum during the transition to digital television.

"I believe that a further loss of spectrum by broadcasters may have an adverse effect upon consumers by limiting their choice in available broadcast television," he said, adding that he thinks the FCC can complete a national broadband plan while at the same time not tinkering with brodcasters licenses.