FCC calls for free hand in spectrum auctions
1/12/2012 1:15 AM EST
A four-point strategy
The FCC Chairman, leading up to his pitch to Congress, said that he
has stuck as much as possible to a four-point strategy to make broadband
one of the engines of the U.S. economy. He said that first, it is his
FCC's goal to make broadband ubiquitous, with no area of the country
deprived of high-speed broadband goods and services
said, he wants to "unleash spectrum, so that mobile and broadband can
achieve its potential" without spectrum limitations.
Next, said Genachoswki, he wants to see more "broadband innovation
zones," areas where research and development is concentrated, speeding
the growth of related technologies. "If we don't build these, the world
will pass us by," said the FCC chief.
Finally, he said, the
United States must connect every citizen to broadband and make each
person "digitally literate" enough to use and benefit from high-speed
broadband technology. Genachowski lamented that one-third of Americans
have no broadband at home because of cost, or digital illiteracy, or a
simple unawareness of the uses of the technology.
Americans are connected to broadband and capable of using it, "this
increases the value of broadband by 50 percent," said Genachowski.
their annual conversation, Consumer Electronics Association Chairman
Shapiro challenged Genachowski on one point. He noted that the FCC's
charter, to manage the vast realm of communications in the United
States, is "ambiguous," thus causing "uncertainty" among businesspeople
whose activities fall under the FCC's oversight.
Shapiro wondered if Congress ought to re-charter the FCC under a "simple formula that gives much more predictability."
Genachowski said that "expert agencies" like the FCC were given
"flexible" -- not ambiguous -- charters, in order to deal with
unpredictable developments in fast-changing industries such as consumer
electronics. "If we back into a system where, every time we have a new
technology, we need a new law from Congress," said Genachowski, echoing
the public's current deep mistrust of Washington lawmakers, "we'' just
choke off innovation."
Noting that, under the policies of his
FCC, investment in affected industries is up, innovation is up, jobs are
up and U.S, leadership is up, Genachowski said, "There will be no
slowing down on the strategy and the broadband initiatives we are