[LINK] Wireless R&D

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sat Feb 12 02:58:45 AEDT 2011

Looks like wireless R&D might soon get a boost ..

Obama lays out plan for wireless Internet expansion

By Jeff MasonPosted 2011/02/10 at 2:32 pm EST

MARQUETTE, Michigan, Feb. 10, 2011 (Reuters) — President Barack Obama on 
Thursday outlined his plan to expand high speed wireless Internet service 
to 98 percent of Americans ..

During a trip to Marquette, Michigan the president proposed investing $5 
billion into a fund that will ensure fast wireless technology is made 
available to rural areas across the country.

"This isn't just about a faster internet or being able to find a friend 
on Facebook. It's about connecting every corner of America to the digital 
age," Obama told an audience at Northern Michigan University.

He also called for $10.7 billion to be invested in developing a wireless 
network to support public safety agencies, a proposal that will be in his 
fiscal 2012 budget, due to be released on Monday.

During his State of the Union address Obama, a Democrat, called for 
expanding high-speed wireless services to satisfy a voracious appetite of 
consumers and businesses for the technology.

His administration has endorsed making 500 megahertz of wireless 
airwaves, or spectrum, available over the next decade to meet the growing 
demand for broadband services.

The Federal Communications Commission hopes to "repurpose" 120 megahertz 
of spectrum through incentive auctions where television broadcasters 
would voluntarily give up spectrum in exchange for a portion of the 
auction proceeds.


"By selling to private companies the rights to these airwaves, we won't 
just encourage private investment and expand wireless access; we'll 
actually bring in revenues that lower our deficits," Obama said.

The White House said it expects those auctions, and more efficient use of 
government spectrum, to raise $27.8 billion over the next decade. That 
figure is an estimate, however, and could end up lower or higher 
depending on the success of the auctioning process.

Congress must pass legislation to give the FCC the authority to conduct 
the incentive auctions. There could be resistance from lawmakers if they 
fear the auctions could apply undue pressure to broadcasters in their 
districts to give up spectrum.

In addition to the fund to help rural areas, Obama proposes putting $3 
billion from those proceeds toward "research and development of emerging 
wireless technologies and applications," the White House said in a 
statement ahead of the president's trip.

Obama's fiscal 2012 budget will focus on deficit curbs while investing in 
areas such as Internet broadband that the president believes are crucial 
for boosting U.S. competitiveness.

(Additional reporting by Jasmin Melvin; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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