This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hear from all five members of the Federal Communications Commission about the implementation of voluntary spectrum auctions to help meet the soaring demands of the more than 320 million U.S. mobile subscriptions.
The commissioners will, no doubt, reinforce their oft repeated warning: unless we act swiftly to make more spectrum available for mobile broadband, spectrum capacity in the U.S. could exceed supply as soon as next year. For consumers, that will mean more than longer downloads and more dropped calls. It will mean missed opportunities, and slower innovation, and slower job growth. As FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has rightly pointed out, “the spectrum crunch is the single biggest threat to one of the most promising parts of our economy.”