The growth of broadband deployment and adoption remains a key priority of TechAmerica and the technology industry. Robust broadband connections enable innovation in a variety of sectors, including education and health care. Spurred by the FCC’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) from March 2010, policymakers at the FCC and on Capitol Hill have been heavily engaged in fulfilling President Obama’s goal of ubiquitous broadband deployment in the U.S.
A variety of regulatory reforms and changes in law have been needed to effectuate some of the NBP. Specifically, further deployment of wireless spectrum for commercial use is a top priority for the technology industry. Indeed, the NBP calls for 500 MHz of additional spectrum into the marketplace by 2020. Congressionally-authorized “voluntary incentive auctions” of certain broadcast TV spectrum are an important step in meeting the 500 MHz goal. The FCC has just begun implementation of the legislation and 2013 will be a busy year in this regard.
Additionally, calls for FCC review of the current telecommunications regulatory regime in light of the increasing use of IP-enabled services have stimulated discussion among lawmakers. Review of the 1996 Telecommunications Act is always a possibility as well.
TechAmerica supports the full and ubiquitous deployment of broadband in the U.S, both by increasing access to wireless and wireline. TechAmerica supports the goals of the NBP and hopes the FCC institutes an auction regime that successfully allows all interested parties an opportunity to bid on and use TV band spectrum for broadband deployment.
TechAmerica also supports policies that improve broadband adoption and literacy. The FCC’s newfound Connect America Fund is an initiative that TechAmerica has publicly supported.
Removal of barriers to dynamic spectrum sharing and use are also of importance. However, policymakers must act prudently when reviewing the use of spectrum by federal users.
TechAmerica has long advocated Congress for the passage of legislation that authorizes the FCC to hold voluntary incentive spectrum auctions and has created spectrum policy principles. TechAmerica also held a spectrum briefing on Capitol Hill in February, filed comments in a variety of proceedings, and held meetings on Capitol Hill, with NTIA, and the FCC. TechAmerica will participate in the FCC’s current rulemaking proceedings regarding spectrum auctions.
(Chair: Brian Adkins, CenturyLink; Vice Chair: TBD) The purpose of the TechAmerica Broadband / Telecommunications Committee is to monitor and engage in policymaking on the Hill and at the FCC regarding broadband deployment and adoption. The committee meets quarterly usually by phone. Currently, the Committee is reviewing the FCC’s current NPRM to initiate a TV band spectrum auction.
Government Affairs, Commercial Policy
Director, Public Advocacy