real on 14 Oct 2000 11:11:32 -0000


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[Nettime-bold] [Fwd: Bill Clinton freaks out over G3 wireless]



Bill Clinton freaks out over G3 wireless
By: Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 14/10/2000 at 05:20 GMT

American airwaves are becoming hopelessly congested and there isn't much
bandwidth available for expansion, a worried US President Bill Clinton
observed in a hastily-drafted Executive Memorandum signed on Friday, in
which he directed the Secretaries of State, Defence, Treasury,
Transportation and Commerce to get their act together, cooperate, and
solve the problem straight away [and no snickering in the press gallery,
bud]. 

He also 'strongly encouraged' (read 'ordered') the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to develop rules to identify and auction
off spectrum for third-generation wireless services, upon which,
apparently, the entire world economy will soon depend. 

"Time is of the essence. If the United States does not move quickly to
allocate this spectrum, there is a danger that the US could lose market
share in the industries of the 21st Century," the President fretted as
he announced the Memo. 

The stakes could not be higher. The high-tech golden goose has been
laying furiously, at least according to Clinton's calculus. "Over the
last five years, the information technology sector has accounted for
nearly one-third of US economic growth, and has generated jobs that pay
eighty-five per cent more than the private sector average," the
President claimed. 

"The action I am taking today will help US high-tech entrepreneurs
compete and win in the global marketplace." 

Clinton ordered the several agencies to file a report by June of 2001
identifying which frequencies are available for sharing or reassignment;
the FCC will draw up rules for the horse trade; and a grand bandwidth
auction will be held in September of 2002, if all goes according to
plan. 

Things will go according to plan if the Departments of Defence, Justice,
State and Transportation, among other, lesser federal gobblers of
bandwidth, humbly consent to relinquish their long-held entitlements to
promote the
nourishment of high-tech, mega-corporate profiteers. The odds, we
reckon, are a bit poor. 


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