On Capitol Hill today lawmakers discussed the urgent need to address spectrum capacity to meet exploding consumer demand for wireless connectivity. And not a moment too soon. In today’s wireless market, data-intensive mobile devices are gobbling bandwidth at an astounding rate, literally sucking the oxygen out of the wireless ecosystem. In fact, the FCC’s own data shows the U.S. exhausting its current supply of mobile spectrum by 2013.
It’s critical that policymakers move immediately to sustain the pace of mobile innovation and investment in the United States. And one of the more immediate ways they can do is to move ahead now with voluntary spectrum auctions. Implementing a spectrum auction process that is open to all stakeholders will continue to fuel economic recovery and help ensure that consumers will have enough spectrum to meet exponentially growing demand in today’s competitive wireless market.
It is well documented that the expansion of licensed wireless broadband networks and services is driving economic growth, creating jobs, and enhancing productivity. In fact, a study released last week by economists Robert Shapiro and Kevin Hassett indicated the transition from 2G to 3G created almost 1.6 million jobs between April 2007 and June 2011, and the build out of 4G should add over 230,000 new U.S. jobs by the end of this year.
Now is the time for leadership. Policymakers on Capitol Hill, at the FCC and in the Administration must work together to chart a clear path to address the nation’s immediate spectrum deficit. More than 300 million wireless consumers are waiting. And the clock is ticking.