This week at the MobileCON show in San Diego, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai shared some important ideas on mobile innovation and how policymakers can do more to keep the wireless sector thriving, urging the continuation of a common-sense, light-touch, and growth-focused approach to regulation. “We don’t want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg,” he said, “so our decisions need to be based on hard facts, sound engineering, and common-sense economics.”
Looking ahead, Commissioner Pai urged his colleagues at the FCC to do all that is possible to achieve spectrum goals of the National Broadband Plan, including moving forward quickly with incentive auctions on a concrete time-line and freeing up federal government spectrum for commercial use by focusing in the immediate term on reallocation. Certain next generation spectrum sharing technologies also are potential paths to pursue in the longer term, but we must not shift our focus from the here and now of allocating more government spectrum for use by American consumers. We’ve not a moment to waste, he said. And only with a heightened sense of urgency — coupled to an “all of the above” strategy when it comes to spectrum policy — will we be able to achieve President Obama’s broadband goals for the nation.
The need for more spectrum continued to be a theme throughout the week, as other keynotes and panels also discussed the expected spectrum deficit and the potentially devastating implications of reduced wireless access for consumers.
Commissioner Pai’s message was especially welcome as CTIA also released its semi-annual survey results this week showing continued growth in wireless, including a 104% increase in mobile data traffic in just one year.
Freeing up more mobile spectrum for commercial use is critical as more wireless consumers adopt smartphones and use high-speed mobile data. Wireless users are driving the exploding growth in the mobile sector and they are hungry for the newest, most innovative products and services that allow them to talk, text, and access the mobile web right from the palm of their hand.
Hundreds of millions of U.S. consumers depend on mobile broadband and our wireless future must remain bright. It’s critical for policymakers to act quickly to combat the spectrum crunch and set the right policy framework that supports continued investment and innovation in mobile.