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Obama Administration supports 500 MHz of spectrum for wireless industry

Lawrence Summers, the White House director of the National Economic Council, announced the Obama Administration?s support to free up 500 MHz of spectrum as part of its wireless broadband initiative.

In the wake of Mr. Summers? announcement, Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Washington, issued the following statement:

Broadband is about investment, innovation, jobs and opportunity, and spectrum is vital infrastructure for broadband.

The Administration?s strong action today is a critical step toward ensuring that America will lead the world in mobile broadband. 

The initiatives endorsed today will spur economic growth, promote private investment and drive U.S. global leadership in broadband innovation.

Spectrum is the oxygen of wireless, and the future of our mobile economy depends on spectrum recovery and smart spectrum policies.

As over one hundred companies, representing billions in investment and millions of American jobs, told the FCC: ?Our nation?s ability to lead the world in innovation and technology is threatened by the lack of sufficient spectrum for wireless broadband applications and services.?

The FCC?s National Broadband Plan laid out a strategy for unleashing 500 Mhz of spectrum for wireless broadband; enabling incentive auctions and market-based solutions for driving spectrum to its highest, best and most efficient use; promoting flexible and unlicensed spectrum use; and generating revenue to fund a world-class mobile broadband network for our nation?s emergency responders.

Putting this plan into action requires exactly the kind of cross-government collaboration outlined by the Administration today.

By taking these important steps, we can tackle the looming spectrum crunch, lead the world in mobile broadband, and drive our global competitiveness and innovative capacity.

If we stand still, we run a real risk to our goals of supporting private investment and a thriving economy.

The FCC looks forward to working with the Congress, our colleagues at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration [NTIA] and across government to support a successful spectrum strategy for our country.

The FCC Spectrum Task Force announced a plan last week to increase value, use and investment in mobile satellite service (MSS) bands with the goal of opening up more spectrum for mobile broadband (see story).

CTIA?s take
Also in response to Mr. Summers? announcement, Steve Largent, president/CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association, Washington, released the following statement: 

We thank the Administration for acknowledging the wireless industry?s important role as an economic driver and for recognizing the potential that this spectrum holds for enhancing the lives of all Americans.

The President?s Memorandum and today?s announcement are important steps in helping the U.S. wireless industry maintain our world leadership in mobile innovation.

By committing to free up 500 MHz of spectrum, mobile broadband service will continue to provide consumers?including those who do not have access to high-speed wireline service?with the convenience of wireless Internet anytime, anywhere.

By making spectrum available for auction, the Administration will enable the wireless industry to invest billions of dollars to purchase the licensed spectrum, and billions more to build and upgrade the networks that fuel our ?virtuous cycle? of innovation.

This announcement is a win for all Americans as it will drive innovation, investment and job creation, while at the same time providing much needed revenue not only for the U.S. Treasury, but also for a nationwide interoperable Public Safety network.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration, FCC, NTIA, Congress and other interested parties to bring this spectrum to market and to continue to assist our nation in its economic recovery.