Blog, US

WANTED: Spectrum for Open Wireless Innovation Lab

BY CCIA Staff
January 14, 2013

The FCC’s Incentive Auctions rulemaking docket is titled: “Expanding Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum…”   With an increasing majority of the American TV audience choosing to consume their video programming via wired or wireless broadband,  rather than over the air broadcast signals, new spectrum to be voluntarily relinquished by TV broadcasters will become available to the highest bidders in the mobile broadband business, hopefully to boost coverage and capacity. The public safety network and the U.S. Treasury also stand to gain something in the bargain.   Not end of story.   Spectrum holdings limits currently under consideration by the FCC in a separate parallel proceeding should prevent further concentration in the amount of spectrum controlled by the mobile wireless duopoly, thereby leaving some chance of winning bids by smaller carriers.   And some of the available spectrum should not be auctioned or licensed at all.

As FCC Chairman Genachowski noted at last week’s CES in Las Vegas, an innovative spectrum policy 30 years ago eventually “gave us cordless phones, Bluetooth and WiFi” …all  valuable developments that could not have been forecast at the time.   Future leaps like Gigabit WiFi in the 5 MHz band will require unprecedented collaboration with other agencies, including the Defense Department, which already have rights to use this spectrum for other purposes.  This is very desirable, but also hugely ambitious given the military is the 800 lb gorilla in Washington inter-agency politics.  By contrast, the FCC Chairman noted, the Commission has already been taking steps to promote next generation unlicensed spectrum in lower frequencies than existing wi-fi which can facilitate outdoor and next door use at greater distances.  We applaud and encourage the FCC’s efforts to ensure a significant amount of low-band unlicensed spectrum recovered from TV broadcasters will be available for robust innovative uses including wifi on a consistent, nationwide basis.

Related Articles

Fireside Chat With Hal Varian: Antitrust Bills Would Harm Tech Market, Consumers

May 24, 2022

Washington – A recent fireside chat with Google’s Chief Economist Hal Varian featured discussion on the flawed reasoning behind proposed tech regulations in antitrust bills like S. 2992, H.R. 3825, and H.R. 3826. Together with the Computer & Communications Industry Association’s Director of Research and Economics Trevor Wagener, Hal Varian countered arguments supporting the proposed…

EU Telcos’ Demand for Network Traffic Payments is Fundamentally Flawed

May 2, 2022

Brussels, BELGIUM — A study launched today by the lobby group for European telecom operators tries to revive a decade-old pipe dream to make online services pay for internet traffic, something their own customers already pay hefty subscription fees for. The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) stresses that ETNO’s renewed attempts to make…