For the technology community in general, and wireless innovators and consumers in particular, the news that President Obama has selected and will shortly nominate former Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter as his new Pentagon chief is welcome and encouraging.
I have worked with Ash since we served together at the Pentagon during the Clinton Administration. His commitment to our national defense and our men and women in uniform has been unwavering. So too has his deep conviction that our national security depends on the resilience and excellence our nation’s technology and our continued capacity to innovate.
During his more recent postings at the Pentagon, I had the opportunity to meet with him on various occasions to discuss the significant evolution of the mobile technology ecosystem in the United States, and the critical importance that commercial wireless networks and services, and the spectrum that makes them possible, play not only for our warriors in the battlefield, and their families at home, but also more broadly to our economy and all our lives.
Without doubt, Ash Carter understands at his core that both our military’s and our nation’s mobile future are deeply intertwined. And he has worked steadfastly to advance policies that would support both.
This week, our nation’s first spectrum auction since 2008 – spectrum that has been held substantially by the Department of Defense, now approaches $40 billion in bids. It is a tremendous success on every level. More spectrum at last will be available commercially to empower our schools, our health system, and our consumers. And for the first time, using proceeds from the auction, our nation can now finance a national interoperable public safety network, offering the promise of safer communities everywhere.
Part of the credit for this great policy achievement rightly is due to Ash Carter and his vision for creating enduring and effective partnerships with our nation’s innovators in industry in the service of our nation’s security, our economy, and our citizens.
All of us at Mobile Future look forward to the opportunity to continue this important work with Dr. Carter and his team should he have the opportunity to return to public service, and we wish him the best as his nomination process proceeds.