“The demand for our airwaves is going up and the supply of unencumbered spectrum is going down. The pressure is on.” That was part of the message of FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel at a Silicon Flatirons conference on spectrum in Washington on Tuesday, according to the text of her remarks.
Rosenworcel pointed out that the U.S. need for spectrum is more pressing than elsewhere. “Last year,” she said, “U.S. wireless networks operated on average at 80 percent of total capacity. This is the highest utilization of any region in the world.”
The reason for the spectral cliff is that there are more wireless subscriptions in this country than there are people. Roughly half of these are smartphones, which generate 35 times the traffic of traditional cellphones. Tablets generate 121 times the traffic of traditional cellphones.” Commissioner Rosenworcel feels this is a time for action, not reaction.
We agree that the time is now to have a conversation about the looming spectral cliff facing our country. We need to identify more spectrum that can be allocated for commercial consumer use, we must ensure that the right policy environment is in place that provides incentives for wireless providers to build its networks and to find solutions and we must change our way of thinking about the current regulatory framework in place to ensure that 21st century rules are in place for 21st century technologies. Instead of going about this as business as usual, we have the opportunity to think outside of the box to address consumer issues.
This past week the Broadband Coalition responded to AT&T’s plan to invest an additional $14 billion in next generation Internet protocol-based wired and wireless consumer broadband services by seeking unprecedented FCC intervention that would allow its members to ‘ride’ AT&T’s network. What’s most interesting about this statement is that the Broadband Coalition is a group of telecom providers that serve lucrative business customers, not America’s residential customers.
While the Broadband Coalition states that it knows ‘what is necessary to achieve widespread deployment and competitive options,’ these business-centric telecom providers fail to mention any critical investments that they have made or plan to make in order to serve the growing Latino customer demand for high-speed mobile and wired Interest connections.
By the way, did I forget to mention the amount of broadband consumption by hospitals and practitioners as we implement Health Information Technology and Telemedicine? Hey just my $0.02.