The Federal Communications Commission spends most of its time making bipartisan decisions that help keep one sixth of the American economy humming. Despite the importance of the agency’s mission, it used to be rare that the Commission was grabbing headlines – and if you saw the FCC above the fold, it was most likely on account of a wardrobe malfunction.
Like so much else in American society, the Internet and nearly ubiquitous mobile connectivity has changed all that. The FCC is now at the center of debates that will shape our collective digital future – and tasked with a mammoth job of encouraging innovation and investment in the most dynamic technologies in human history.
That’s why the FCC’s vote to approve the Restoring Internet Freedom Order is so important. The polices enacted by the Commission today will help usher in a new era of internet freedom for America’s innovators, bringing exciting new goods and services into the marketplace.
In 2015, when the FCC applied monopoly style Title II regulations, it slammed the lid on the ability of entrepreneurs across the broadband ecosphere to experiment with new business models and services that can revolutionize the way we work and play.
This is especially true when it comes to mobile. For the first time in 2015, the FCC shoved wireless services into the same regulatory box designed for dial-up telephone service. That old telephone box is an especially poor fit for wireless services and it trapped new consumer offerings underneath its heavy lid.
The Restoring Internet Freedom Order adopted today unleashes the potential of mobile by reinstating the bipartisan, light-touch regulatory structure that made the United States the world leader in 4G. That lead was threatened by the FCC’s misguided 2015 order as investment in networks fell off and new service offerings to consumers were put on ice.
But with smart policies like today’s decision at the FCC, investment is set to take off again, and it couldn’t come a minute sooner. The explosive growth of the Internet of Things and the advent of 5G is just around the corner, promising to connect communities and businesses in more ways than ever before. That’s especially important as we race toward next generation networks and 5G – where billions of dollars in new capital is needed to support the infrastructure that will enable everything from autonomous transportation to virtual reality to remote medical care.
American consumers are on the cusp of a new wireless Golden Age. Mobile Future looks forward to continuing to work with the FCC, and all stakeholders, to ensure that the Internet and American mobile economy remains the envy of the world.