Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Genachowski: "America's Mobile Broadband Future"

Today every company in America -- entertainment, commerce, news, you name it -- knows it needs to have a mobile strategy, said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, speaking at CTIA show in San Diego. "At the FCC, we also recognize that mobile is central to our mission. No sector of the communications industry holds greater potential to enhance America's economic competitiveness, spur job creation, and improve the quality of our lives. "

Genachowski outlined four goals in working with the wireless industry:

1. Unleashing spectrum for 4G mobile broadband -- Counting last year's 700 MHz auction, the FCC in recent years has authorized a 3-fold increase in commercial spectrum. The problem is many anticipate a 30-fold increase in wireless traffic. Genachowski believes a mart spectrum policy will be part of the solution. This could include secondary spectrum markets, and spectrum flexibility policies. New technologies like smart antennas and femtocells hold promise as well.

2. Removing obstacles to robust and ubiquitous 4G deployment -- One area the FCC can help is on the issue of tower siting. Genachowski wants the FCC to move forward with a shot-clock proposal designed to speed the tower sitng process, while taking into account the legitimate concerns of local authorities.

3. Providing fair rules of the road for an open Internet -- so that it remains a vibrant platform for innovation and investment, recognizing the differences between wired and wireline technologies. Genachowski reiterated his comments made two weeks ago that the FCC should codify a "fair and common-sense" framework to preserve an open Internet. The FCC will take up the issue at its Open Meeting later this month. However, Genachowski did acknowledge that managing a wireless network isn't the same as managing a fiber network, and what constitutes reasonable network management will appropriately reflect that difference.

4. Empowering consumers by supporting a vibrant, transparent and competitive marketplace. -- Genachowski said the FCC will strengthen its role in ensuring that consumers get clear, relevant information so that they can make informed decisions on new service plans and new devices.


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