Nextel Spectrum Swap: CTIA Relents, Others Groups Attack

As we’ve seen here on Techdirt and in the comments section, people are really split over the fairness of the FCC’s proposal to swap Nextel’s 700 and 800MHz spectrum for some 1,900MHz spectrum. The reason for the swap (which we’ve discussed before) is that Nextel towers can sometimes interfere with nearby emergency services (ES) mobile radios, hampering first-responder communications. In a recent development the CTIA has taken an honorable position: they say despite their disagreement with the Nextel swap as voted in unanimously by the FCC, the priority now is to implement the solution and protect lives. Well done. The real risk we run here is a dragged out legal battle between two entrenched sides, while firefighters are dying. Kudos to the CTIA for letting politics play a back seat to lives. But just as the CTIA backs off, a strange lobby group has stepped up the campaign against the Nextel swap. Click here for my full story on how the “First Responders Coalition” with members such as the American Corn Growers oppose the swap proposal.

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