FYI - Verizon obtained their 800 MHz spectrum (25 MHz) for free too...25 years ago or so. At that time they were known as the "wireline side" cellular RBOCS: nynex, uswest, pactel, bellsouth, bell atlantic, SBC and ameritech. they all had to purchase their new spectrum (at 1.9 - which used to be analog microwave, 1.7, etc. ALL spectrum between 500 - 3000 MHz has become incredibly valuable, well, unless it is prevented due to Out-of-band restrictions or other regulations.
The issue with the broadcasters has not changed for years. The spectrum the broadcasters have been permitted to use has radically increased in value due to a service they cannot offer - mobile wireless 2 way services. Recall that the 2.5-2.69 GHz band was used by various "wireless cable" operators like PCTV who could never turn a profit with this spectrum.
good luck out-lobbying the broadcasters. they seem to carry lots of weights on capitol hill.
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