By Bob Emeritz
Sept. 9 — Four FCC Commissioners—two Democrats, two Republicans—discussed the rules of engagement for the next stage of the campaign to fill the wireless spectrum pipeline: how to wrest spectrum from reluctant federal incumbents.
The collegial but spirited debate arose at CTIA—The Wireless Association's Super Mobility Week conference in Las Vegas, in a panel session moderated by CTIA president and former Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker.
Republican commissioner Michael O'Rielly kicked off the exchange by noting that the industry has gone six years since the last major auction of spectrum. Auctions won't fill the long-term needs of the swiftly growing wireless market, he warned. Rather, the next pipeline refill must come from a joint effort by the commission and the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration—coordinator of spectrum reserved for federal government use—to reduce the government's allocation.
The federal government must become more spectrum-efficient, O'Rielly said, or must rely on private businesses to fulfill its need for wireless services. Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel agreed in part.
“The world's gone wireless,” she said, “and we must be more creative going forward.”
Rosenworcel proposed offering incentives to get civil and military agencies to part with spectrum. “Knocking on the doors of the DoD won't suffice. We need to put incentives on the federal government to put spectrum into the pipeline. Until they see some gain from reallocating, we are reduced to continued pleading,” she concluded.
Rosenworcel's Democratic colleague Mignon Clyburn, who remains concerned about the disproportionate impact that spectrum scarcity is having on cord-cutting lower-income customers, supported spectrum sharing.
Republican Ajit Pai agreed in part, but warned that “the FCC does not write on a blank slate with regard to federal spectrum.”
“Sharing can be considered only where clearing has failed. Clearing is ultimately the best course,” Pai argued. Commissioner O'Rielly concurred, and added, “It is essential to be forceful with federal agencies to give up spectrum that is being used inefficiently. The days of ‘can't give it up, can't tell you why’ are past.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Emeritz in Washington at mailto:email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Barbagallo at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)