Mobile Future

The Spectrum Commission

As many futurists know, I was covering the WCA conference in DC this week. Accordingly, I had the opportunity to hear a FCC Roundtable with the wireless staffers for the respective FCC Commissioners. It was very informative.

Fred Campbell (Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau) kicked off the discussion and mentioned his priority to successfully get the D Block auctioned by the end of the DTV transition. Obviously, there are issues regarding the conditions that are a part of holding that license but getting the D Block done was a sentiment shared by all the participants. Mr. Campbell also mentioned his goal of making sure that the AWS III (2155-2175MHz) spectrum got allocated in 9 months (as specified in the NPRM). He did not elaborate on whether that spectrum would be licensed or unlicensed spectrum.

Bruce Gottlieb (Commissioner Copps) mentioned his continued interest in carriers opening up their networks and believes that this move will help unleash more innovations in the wireless sector. He is pleased with the Commission’s efforts to get spectrum out in the market but believes the results are a “mixed bag.” For instance, he is concerned with excessive concentration of wireless spectrum and is interested in seeing some wholesaling requirements on future allocations.

Renee Roland Crittendon (Commissioner Adelstein) believes oversight of the DTV transition is important and will be watching related education efforts to inform folks of the transition. Ms. Crittendon supports future wholesaling conditions and emphasized that tradeoffs are a part of these policy decisions. She also is interested in making sure spectrum is not sitting fallow and is made available for service providers.

Wayne Leighton (Commissioner Tate) stated that Ms. Tate is passionate about broadband deployment as well as making sure the DTV transition is successful. With regard to wireless broadband deployment, Mr. Leighton is concerned that the weakening capital markets could be an impediment to some of those efforts.

Overall, a very informative panel and all the representatives were excited about our mobile future…