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

CCIA, INCOMPAS File FCC Comments On 12GHz for 5G

Jul 7, 2021

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association and INCOMPAS filed FCC comments today highlighting data that shows opening this mid-band spectrum would accelerate mobile market competition, bolster the economy and strengthen America’s 5G edge. CCIA has advocated for high speed, affordable internet access for more than 25 years. The following can be attributed to…

CCIA Submits Filing To FCC On Rural Broadband Funds, Auction

Jun 16, 2021

Washington — Washington — The Computer and Communications Industry Association submitted comments to the FCC asking it examine the results of its Phase I Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction to ensure that these funds, which are supposed to provide funding for areas currently unserved by broadband, are allocated for only eligible locations. The limited…

Tech Association Response To House Bills Aimed At Handful of Tech Companies

Jun 11, 2021

Washington —  Democratic House Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee have introduced a series of interventionist bills with the aim of regulating a selected group of American digital service providers. These proposed regulations represent a shift from the market-oriented principles that have characterized U.S. economic policy. They would have a severe impact on U.S. economic…