WASHINGTON, DC – The Federal Communications Commission’s vote earlier today to explore uses for mid-band frequencies demonstrates that by working together, the nation can take important steps toward increased innovation and economic opportunity. The notice of inquiry that the Commission adopted today is an important first step in utilizing these underused mid-band frequencies.
“As with any new proposals, challenges lie ahead,” said Mobile Future Chief Public Policy Advisor Robert McDowell. “By voting to explore mid-band uses, the Commission is forging new policy innovations that will then shape technological innovation. This vote marks a great day for our mobile future.”
Consumers, businesses, and communities of all kinds consistently demonstrate a growing thirst for data-intensive services and applications that are already tugging hard on existing 4G networks and Wi-Fi connections. This demand will increase exponentially as next-generation 5G services, the Internet of Things, and “smart communities” proliferate nationwide.
That same rising demand is putting a premium on carriers’ ability to offload traffic onto the Wi-Fi networks that are increasingly jammed with congestion. These dual needs – more licensed spectrum for mobile broadband and more unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi – makes exploring the uses for mid-band spectrum so promising, particularly frequencies at 3.7-4.2 GHz and 6 GHz.
Thanks to the FCC, stakeholders are poised to begin productive dialogue about how spectrum can be put to its highest and best use.
“This notice of inquiry is just the beginning of our efforts to free up more mid-band spectrum for flexible and wireless use,” explained FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Our aim is to close the mobile digital divide so that American consumers, especially those in rural areas, will not be eternally stuck in the middle of dead or spotty wireless service zones, and along the way, we hope to boost investment, job creation and our nation’s global competitiveness when it comes to the wireless marketplace.”
It is critical that we act now to ensure America’s continued leadership in wireless broadband. The U.S. has shown global leadership in the recently concluded 600 MHz incentive auction and earlier efforts to liberate low-band spectrum for commercial use. The Commission has acted with speed and precision in the Spectrum Frontiers proceeding for high-band spectrum. We must do the same for mid-band spectrum, and the FCC’s action today brings us a little closer to that reality.
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