FCC Approves Plan to Start Easing "Spectrum Crunch"

Will assist meeting consumer demand for wireless access


US regulators voted Friday to begin a process to reallocate some of the broadcast spectrum to meet surging demand from smartphones, tablets and other devices that use the wireless Internet.

The Federal Communications Commission formally approved the plan to launch so-called incentive auctions, which will allow broadcasters to sell off some of their spectrum rights to mobile broadband operators starting in 2014.

"This is a big deal," FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said.