Demand for mobile broadband capacity is projected to outstrip wireless network supply in the next decade unless the federal government takes action to reform both commercial and government use of this finite public resource, the electromagnetic spectrum, to make it more efficient.  Spectrum legislation passed the 112th Congress, as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.  It authorized the FCC to conduct Incentive Auctions for which TV and radio broadcasters may choose to relinquish their licensed frequencies for future mobile broadband use in exchange for a share of the auction proceeds.  The public safety nonprofit FirstNet will also be entitled to auction proceeds to help fund wireless operations of first responders. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department’s NTIA and the FCC had already started work on a spectrum inventory project in order to identify unused and underused commercial and federal government frequency blocks that may be re-assigned and/or auctioned for licensed or unlicensed wireless broadband use.  All of these initiatives trace their origins to the 2010 National Broadband Plan that Congress mandated the FCC to develop.

In response to this year’s legislation, the FCC has initiated rulemakings on both commercial mobile Spectrum Holdings, and Incentive Auctions.  CCIA supports FCC adoption of pro-competitive spectrum holdings limitations per frequency band so that the largest two companies in an already concentrated mobile broadband cannot increase their dominant market power via incentive auctions.  All spectrum blocks are not created equal, but have different propagation characteristics that must be taken into account depending, for example on whether the frequencies are needed for congested urban use or rural use.  CCIA also supports the reservation of some of the newly available spectrum for unlicensed use, including a significant portion that would be available on a uniform nationwide basis for the first time.  Use of so-called TV white spaces and dynamic spectrum sharing by smart devices can increase the efficiency of spectrum use so that more wireless users can be accommodated for a diversity of functions.

Most Recent Statements&Findings:

CCIA Files FCC Comments On DISH National Broadband Network

Today CCIA filed Reply Comments with the FCC Thursday advocating that DISH Network be permitted to move forward with its planned launch of a nationwide wireless broadband network. DISH’s planned terrestrial network will create meaningful, new competition in the ultra-concentrated wireless market and put 40 MHz of underutilized spectrum to use for wireless broadband services – helping…

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Verizon's New Privacy Policies Alarming

Earlier this week, Verizon and Verizon Wireless began sending notices to their customers announcing a change to the privacy practices of the companies and a new program of targeted advertising. The letter informed customers that Verizon would be using information about the customers, including geographic location and which websites they visit, and would be sharing…

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Verizon’s New Privacy Policies Alarming

Earlier this week, Verizon and Verizon Wireless began sending notices to their customers announcing a change to the privacy practices of the companies and a new program of targeted advertising. The letter informed customers that Verizon would be using information about the customers, including geographic location and which websites they visit, and would be sharing…

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AT&T to Verizon : “We’ll Keep the World Safe for Big Telecom Mergers, You Go Kill That Pesky FCC Open Internet Rule”

Ahh, the co-ordinated effects possible between two giant duopolists. Now that the trial schedule has been set for the new 21st century U.S. v. AT&T antitrust case, AT&T litigators will be vigorously defending in court the iconic behmoth’s right to acquire and thereby eliminate one of its three national mobile telecom competitors, T-Mobile.  If successful, the acquisition…

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AT&T to Verizon : “We’ll Keep the World Safe for Big Telecom Mergers, You Go Kill That Pesky FCC Open Internet Rule”

Ahh, the co-ordinated effects possible between two giant duopolists. Now that the trial schedule has been set for the new 21st century U.S. v. AT&T antitrust case, AT&T litigators will be vigorously defending in court the iconic behmoth’s right to acquire and thereby eliminate one of its three national mobile telecom competitors, T-Mobile.  If successful, the acquisition…

Read more