WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Mobile Future coalition today urged the Federal Communication Commission to incorporate wireless technologies as a key element in its development of a national broadband plan that would seek to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability.
The coalition filed comments with the FCC in response to the agency’s April 8 Notice of Inquiry. The FCC must deliver its plan to Congress by February 17 of next year.
"We all recognize the vital role that broadband plays in global communications," said Mobile Future Chairman Jonathan Spalter, "but a parallel phenomenon over the past decade has been the mobility revolution, which has profoundly changed nearly every aspect of American life. From life-saving healthcare applications, to energy saving innovations and public safety advances, wireless devices are now enabling American consumers to use high-speed Internet connections when, where and how they choose. Wireless is the key to ensuring that all Americans have the same opportunities and now is a good time for the Commission to take a look at what is happening in the broadband space to ensure that investment and innovation continue for mobile technologies, devices and applications."
In its comments, Mobile Future stressed that "in defining ‘broadband’ and ‘access to broadband,’ the Commission must take into account that certain applications and situations will best be served by mobile broadband technology – indeed some can only be served by mobile broadband technology."
The coalition also observed that the National Broadband Plan "should acknowledge that reasonable network management has an important role in ensuring that consumers have a positive Internet experience – especially in the mobile context."
Demonstrating the growth in consumer and business mobile Internet-based applications and usage, Mobile Future cited FCC data showing that "since 2005, the number of both high-speed and advanced service connections provided by wireless carriers has grown faster than the number of connections on any other technology platform, with subscriber counts more than doubling in each of the last five six-month periods. By the end of 2007, mobile wireless carriers provisioned more than 15 million advanced service connections – more than 60% as many as DSL."
In its comments, Mobile Future also provided numerous examples of how mobile technology applications play a crucial role in achieving the broadband public policy goals set forth by Congress: advancing consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, health care delivery, energy independence and efficiency, education, worker training, private sector investment, entrepreneurial activity, job creation and economic growth.
The complete filing can be found at http://www.mobilefuture.org/FCCComments
Additional information about Mobile Future can be found at www.mobilefuture.org
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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. Its 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.