WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mobile Future filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today regarding the Commission’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Connect America Fund. In the comments, Mobile Future urged the Commission to provide on-going support for ubiquitous mobile broadband coverage and distribute funds for the provision of mobile broadband services to reach consumers in remote areas of the country.
Pointing to the President’s plan to make 4G high-speed wireless service available to 98 percent of Americans within the next five years, the comments acknowledge the tens of billions of dollars wireless service providers invest each year to extend the coverage of next generation wireless networks across the United Sates. To ensure that all Americans have access to the benefits of mobile broadband, however, Mobile Future called on the Commission to make funding available on an on-going basis in high-cost areas.
Consumer demand for mobile broadband devices is undisputed: 85% of American adults own a cell phone; 69.5 million adults own Smartphones; more than 82 million adults are expected to use a mobile tablet by 2015; global shipments of electronic devices embedded with mobile broadband are expected to reach 271 million by 2015; there are now more than 600,000 mobile applications available across multiple platforms; and, according to one analyst, there will be 10 billion wireless-connected devises worldwide by 2020.
Given the significant new economic opportunities and powerful “platform for commerce” mobile broadband offers Americans, on-going support from the proposed Connect America Fund is imperative to ensuring Americans in rural and remote areas are able to take part in the wireless broadband revolution.
“The competitive wireless industry will continue to invest in 3G and 4G networks, but without additional government investment, millions of Americans living in high cost rural areas – where the economics of providing mobile broadband are insurmountable – will not have access to the benefits of mobile broadband,” wrote Mobile Future Chair Jonathan Spalter.
Mobile Future urged the Commission not only to consider the full scope of funds needed to expand the deployment of both 3G and 4G infrastructures, but take into account the on-going expenses of operating a network in high-cost areas. The comments go on to urge the Commission to adopt proposals that promote competition among service providers seeking support in high cost areas, a move that would spur funding efficiency.
To read the full comments, please click here.
Mobile Future is a broad-based coalition of businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals interested in and dedicated to advocating for an environment in which innovations in wireless technology and services are enabled and encouraged. Our mission is to educate the public and key decision makers on innovations in the wireless industry that have transformed the way Americans work and play and to advocate continued investment in wireless technologies. www.mobilefuture.org