Forecast 2008: Bandwidth goes on the market

TV broadcasters will go digital next year, and one result will be the freeing of the 700 MHz bandwidth.

Later this month, the Federal Communications Commission will auction off that spectrum. Telecommunications companies, wireless carriers and others are anxious to grab it, which will allow them to expand the services they offer.

But 10 MHz of that spectrum is to be reserved for a nationwide first-responder network. It's a good idea at first glance, but it has generated concerns about how the network will be managed and how it will connect and operate with other networks at the state and local level.

Which bidder or bidders win that portion of the spectrum Jan. 24 will go a long way to answering those and other questions.

But only time will tell if this opportunity is measured in the billions, as some have said, or if it is a rabbit hole for resources.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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