IIA Applauds Effort to Make Spectrum Screen Better, More Predictable & Transparent, But Notes More Spectrum Is the Key Issue for 2013
Weighs in on ways to spur investment and growth in mobile with comments for FCC’s Mobile Spectrum Holdings NPRM
WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 23, 2012 – Responding to the opportunity to offer comments on the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) focusing on FCC policies regarding mobile spectrum holdings, the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA), a broad-based coalition supporting broadband access and adoption for all Americans, today released the following summary and statement from its comments filed with the FCC:
1. Uncertainty Is Undermining Economic Growth & Job Creation.
2. Mobile Broadband Offers Extraordinary Potential to Drive Sustained Economic Recovery and Innovation.
3. Government Policy in 2013 Should Focus on Making More Spectrum Available for Private Use and Providing Greater Certainty for Investors.
“IIA believes the existing unpredictable, non-public process for changing spectrum screens undermines economic growth by failing to provide investors with the transparency, predictability and flexibility needed to properly consider wireless broadband investments. While freeing more spectrum for mobile broadband use remains the most important new policy priority, creating an open and predictable process for evaluating the amount of spectrum carriers will be allowed to possess is essential to promoting investment and growth in commercial mobile services.
“Today’s wireless marketplace is highly competitive, with nine out of ten consumers having a choice of five or more service providers in local markets across the nation. Future spectrum screen analyses should acknowledge such competitiveness, in addition to recognizing differential values of spectrum with varying propagation characteristics. Criterion should not disqualify or impair any carriers from participating in the upcoming Incentive Auctions or future auction of new spectrum. Clarity – both in the screen and knowledge that it will not unexpectedly change in mid-stream – should be sought to encourage more robust secondary markets.
“Spectrum screen decisions by the FCC should be made through the regular rulemaking process including the provision of notice, the issuance of proposed rules, an opportunity for interested parties to comment and judicial appeal from the final promulgated rule. Such a process assures that the rules will not be changed after carriers have made substantial investments in reliance on current screens. That certainty, which the present spectrum screen change process lacks, will stimulate investment and promote planned and orderly growth to the market for mobile services.”