From Speaking at the Mobile Future Forum in DC, FCC boss Julius Genachowski last week mirrored the wireless industry's claim that spectrum squatting isn't real, and that future demand means a crunch must be real:

“First, there are some who say that the spectrum crunch is greatly exaggerated – indeed, that there is no crunch coming. They also suggest that there are large blocks of spectrum just lying around – and that 8 some licensees, such as cable and wireless companies, are just sitting on top of, or 'hoarding,' unused spectrum that could readily solve that problem. That’s just not true. Let’s look at the facts. Multiple expert sources expect that by 2014, demand for mobile broadband and the spectrum to fuel it, will be 35 times the levels it was in 2009. … The looming spectrum shortage is real – and it is the alleged hoarding that is illusory.”

Broadcasters are pushing for a broad spectrum inventory. Genachowski's pushing back against this new effort as well, insisting the FCC had already conducted "one of the most substantial and comprehensive evaluations of spectrum in the Commission's history" and has a baseline understanding of who owns what spectrum. The CTIA, which previously said they supported such an inventory, is now backing up Genachowski and claiming the "country can't wait" for a spectrum inventory.

Both the CTIA and the FCC boss are now essentially engaged in symmetrical talking points, claiming an inventory isn't necessary, a frightening spectrum crisis is looming, nobody is actually squatting on spectrum, and that the best way to tackle all of this is so-called incentive auctions aimed primarily at putting broadcaster spectrum to use for next-gen wireless networks. Neither the CTIA or Genachowski appear to support any kind of tougher "use it or lose it" requirements on spectrum holders, despite the fact this is technically a public resource