By reallocating portions of the broadband spectrum assigned to local television stations, President Obama hopes that 4G coverage can be provided across 98% of America. This was one of the goals presented during the State of the Union Address.
Obama said during the State of the Union: “Within the next five years, we will make it possible for business to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all Americans. This isn’t just about a faster Internet and fewer dropped calls. It’s about connecting every part of America to the digital age.”
President Obama expounded upon this statement during a lecture at Northern Michigan University, which he held remotely via 4G WiMax.
The government’s strategy will be to request portions of local TV station’s FCC-assigned broadband spectrum. Then an auction would be held between wireless carriers for this portion, with part of the proceeds going to the original station.
The rest of the revenue generated from these auctions (somewhere in the neighborhood of $30 billion over the next 10 years) would be used as follows:
- $10 billion to provide reliable wireless networks to public safety and emergency service officials
- $5 billion toward establishing 4G coverage in rural America
- $3 billion on additional research
- Remainder (approximately $12 billion) will apparently be a small contribution to the repayment of the national debt
Approval for the budget and plan must pass the necessary governmental and legislative hurdles, with some opposition already beginning to come out of the woodwork.