FCC Sees Wireless Policy Upgrade

The agency's chairman said the federal government is running at "high speed" to find a better way to address spectrum policy.

by / June 18, 2002
NEW YORK (AP) -- Michael Powell, chairman of the FCC, said Monday that the U.S. government is scrambling to improve its policies governing wireless spectrum.

"I think the government is running around at high speed, trying to find a better way to do spectrum policy," he said at a Thomas Weisel Partners conference that was web cast from Santa Barbara, Calif.

The government is trying to acquire more spectrum, he said, to promote more and better uses for it, and to balance its own needs for spectrum against those of consumers. Wireless companies have lobbied for the government to free up spectrum currently reserved for the Department of Defense.

He declined to comment specifically on the pending merger between Hughes Electronics Corp. and EchoStar Communications Corp.

However, he did say that different technologies -- for example, cable companies and traditional telecom companies -- can provide adequate competition.

"I don't think Washington is particularly hostile to transactions at the moment, and I don't think it's particularly inviting to them," he said.

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