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					FREEDOM TO ROAM/Phil Weiser

       Imagine having a cell phone that can access any wireless carrier‟s
network and is able to download free software and music. While people can
do that in Europe, in the United States it‟s almost impossible. But all that
will change in the next few years as new rules for the upcoming Federal
Communications Commission auction of the analog TV spectrum are
implemented.

CUT 1 “The upper UHF TV channels, which have been used by broadcasters,
are about to be vacated as they give up their old analog signals. Once they
end over-the-air analog broadcasting, there‟s a whole bunch of spectrum that
is now available for other uses.”                                 RUNS:25

       That‟s Phil Weiser, director of the Silicon Flatirons
Telecommunications Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
       Today, nearly all American cell-phone users are forced to buy phones
provided by and controlled by the service provider. But Weiser says the new
rules set forth by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin will require companies
bidding for the new spectrum to give consumers the freedom to roam.

CUT 2 “One technology that chairman Martin focused on is these wi -fi
cellular hybrid phones that go on wi-fi networks where they are available or
cellular networks where they are not. That service is available in Europe.
The question is: Why is it taking so long and why is it being rolled out by so
few? (:20) The answer is not that hard to fathom. Both Verizon and AT&T
both have massive wire line operations where they make money on voice
minutes. They don‟t want people using their cell phones at home instead of
their land line phone.”                                            RUNS :35

      But Weiser also says the FCC needs to encourage even more access by
opening up the playing field to additional providers. To do this he says you
need to make it difficult for the major providers like Verizon, AT&T and T-
Mobile to outbid the competition for the new spectrum.

CUT 3 “So one of the concerns about this auction is whether today‟s
incumbents are going to be the sole acquirers of spectrum. There was a
spectrum offer last summer called the “Advanced Wireless Services” or AWS
auction, and basically Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile came out of that auction
the big winners. (:18) The best way is more competition and I think what the
FCC needs to be focused on with this auction is how can we ensure that
entrants have a fair shot and are able to bid successfully? For example,
anonymous bidding strikes me as important concerns. (:30) The theory here is
if you know it‟s an entrant they may bid harder to make sure that the entrant
doesn‟t win. But if they don‟t know who it is then they don‟t have that
assurance, and that will give that entrant more protection.”      RUNS :43

      The spectrum opening up for wireless use is in the 700-megahertz
range and is highly sought-after by wireless providers, says Weiser.

CUT 4 “Spectrum is a scarce resource. This spectrum is gold, as far as
spectrum goes. It‟s often referred to as „beach-front property.‟ Because it‟s
lower down the frequency range in the 700-megahertz band, you actually get
better propagation characteristics. (:17) So I‟m going to get these numbers
wrong, but just a flavor, where you might need like five cell towers if, let‟s say
you were using 2.1 gigahertz, if you go down to 700 megahertz you can use
one cell tower. So this spectrum is a lot more bang for your buck and you can
save on equipment.”                                                 RUNS :31

       The date for the auction has not been set, but it‟s expected to take
place in late December or early January 2008.
                                      -30-

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