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Congress

White House to Host Spectrum Auction Summit


In what looks to us like a not-so-subtle message to television broadcasters, the White House says it will host a Wednesday summit titled "Spectrum Auctions: Unlocking the Innovative Potential of Wireless Broadband."

The event will highlight the "economic benefits" of auctioning "under-utilized" spectrum, which include expanded wireless coverage and more revenue for the Treasury, the White House said.

Absent from the roster are television broadcasters, which have begrudgingly agreed to participate in voluntary auctions to reallocate some of their spectrum to wireless carriers. The National Association of Broadcasters is worried that the Federal Communications Commission might force stations to relinquish spectrum if it can't recoup enough through voluntary steps to satisfy growing demand for wireless broadband.

Participants in the Wednesday event will include Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski; and Jason Furman, deputy director of the National Economic Council. In addition, experts from Stanford, Duke, Columbia and Google will participate. On April 12, Genachowski addresses the NAB at the association's annual convention in Las Vegas.

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