In a hearing today (June 9) on Capitol Hill, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski asked Congress for its assistance in reclaiming spectrum for mobile broadband, reports Broadcasting & Cable. The request came during the House Appropriations Committee Financial Services Subcommittee testimony on the FCC's 2011 budget. Genachowski said the spectrum giveback (background, Current, Feb. 8, 2010) was good for all parties involved — broadcasters, viewers and the government — but the feds need to move quickly to head off a looming spectrum shortage. Congress needs to okay use of some proceeds from the spectrum auction to compensate broadcasters. "Ironically," writes B&C reporter John Eggerton, "access to the hearing itself over broadband was interrupted for a large swath of the proceedings due to streaming problems."
Forum news: The agency announced a daylong forum June 25 (PDF) at its headquarters in Washington to explore the technical end of freeing up broadcast spectrum. Topics: cellularization of broadcast architecture, methodologies for repacking the TV band, improvements in VHF reception, and advancements in compression technology. Interested? Follow along on the FCC's live feed that day.