Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on September 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm
You may attribute the following to Joan Marsh, AT&T Vice President of Federal Regulatory:
“To meet soaring consumer demand for mobile Internet services and to maintain a robust platform for innovative mobile services, rational spectrum policies and bold action are vital. The spectrum-related items adopted by the FCC today represent significant progress towards reaching these important goals.
“Wireless carriers need a clear and reliable understanding of when and under what circumstances spectrum acquisitions will be permitted, something we do not have today. With today’s FCC action, spectrum policy can now be taken out of merger-specific proceedings, placed in an industry-wide, open and transparent proceeding, and ultimately subjected to judicial review.
“And equally important is bringing new spectrum allocations to market and maximizing carrier participation in auctions to ensure that they are successful. We look forward to working with the FCC to free up new spectrum bands for mobile broadband services.”
Posted by: Joan Marsh on August 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm
Last Friday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski weighed in on the appropriate spectrum policy for the country and got it absolutely correct. The Chairman made clear he still favors clearing spectrum for auction, where appropriate, while we also explore new sharing ideas that have been developed. He correctly noted that it’s not “an either/or choice” – we will likely need to rely on both models to unlock the full value of our nation’s scarce spectrum resources.
We agree and support the FCC’s direction on spectrum policy. The Commission has long led the way in acknowledging the spectrum challenges our nation faces. The National Broadband Plan was the first major policy document to recognize the need to allocate significant new bands for commercial use – and the dire consequences if its goal of an additional 500 MHz of spectrum wasn’t met. The FCC has also demonstrated the will to address barriers to efficient spectrum use, as evidenced in its ongoing efforts to rationalize for mobile broadband use the MSS S-band and the currently under-utilized WCS band.
Posted by: Joan Marsh on August 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm
The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, or PCAST, recently released a Report on “Realizing the Full Potential of Government-Held Spectrum to Spur Economic Growth.” The recommendations contained in the Report were driven by the fact that mobile data volumes continue to grow at an astounding pace, and that responding to this demand curve is vital to continued U.S. economic growth, competitiveness and technology leadership. On these points, we fully agree – there are few issues as pressing for the telecommunications industry as freeing up additional spectrum resources to meet demand and foster sustained economic growth in the wireless sector.
The Report’s core recommendations, however, have generated significant controversy. The Report found that the new norm for spectrum use should be sharing, not exclusive licensing. While we agree that sharing paradigms should be explored as another option for spectrum management, sharing technologies have been long promised but remain largely unproven. The over-eager pursuit of unlicensed sharing models cannot turn a blind eye on the model proven to deliver investment, innovation, and jobs – exclusive licensing. Industry and government alike must continue with the hard work of clearing and licensing under-utilized government spectrum where feasible.
On that point, we were heartened by statements made by Tom Power, White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Telecommunications, in the days following the Report, clarifying that the Administration has not given up on making parts of 1755-1850 MHz, which he called “this most appealing of spectrum,” available for exclusive commercial use. As reported by Communications Daily, Mr. Power noted that NTIA has concluded that there are significant opportunities for clearing in that band within the next five years. We were also happy to hear Mr. Power recommit to the Administration’s goal of reallocating a full 500 MHz of additional spectrum for commercial mobile use.