DTV transition and 700 Mhz spectrum

This article will probably give you a headache if you read it all the way to the end. It discusses the proposed delay in the transition to DTV (Digital TV). Somehow, the Federal government underfunded the converter box coupon program, and now there is a large backlog of requests for coupons that can't be filled.

The situation is complicated because last year, the FCC auctioned off parts of the analog TV spectrum to wireless broadband providers, who want to the newly purchased spectrum to deliver wireless broadband services.

But wait, it gets worse, because some advisors to the new administration appear to have potential conflicts of interest. Verizon paid billions for 700 Mhz licenses, and is eager to start deploying new wireless services. But competitor Clearwire, which has invested heavily in WiMax, which uses existing spectrum, not the new 700 Mhz, would benefit from a delay in the DTV transition, as it would keep Verizon at bay for a while longer.

Who loses? Communities waiting for more broadband services and better pricing because of competition. And it underscores the need for communities to take control of their economic future by making their own telecom and broadband investments that can be managed independently of lobbyists and telecom firms jockeying for control at the national level.