The demand for additional wireless broadband continues to rise as American consumers increasingly rely on mobile broadband services and devices such as smartphones and tablets. After years of debate, outreach, and negotiation, Congress is voting today to require the FCC to allow all bidders to bid for airwaves that will significantly expand the availability of wireless broadband for consumer use. The spectrum provisions in the House-Senate agreement will spur innovation and investment, promote significant job creation, and help build a nationwide interoperable public safety network. One study projects that build-out of next generation wireless networks could generate between 371,000 and 771,000 jobs, $25-53 billion in investment, and $73-151 billion in GDP growth. But that requires making more spectrum available.
This legislation does all of these things while giving strong protections for taxpayers, and generating $15 billion in revenues to help offset other federal costs. It is a win for consumers, wireless providers, broadcasters, taxpayers, public safety, and the U.S. economy.
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“The spectrum auctions also will unleash new investment and job growth. Over the past 15 years America’s wireless industry has invested more than $300 billion to build out the world’s best wireless networks. Verizon alone invested $9 billion in 2011 to deploy the world’s first nationwide 4G LTE wireless network. Wireless providers employ more than a quarter million Americans; the industry as a whole is responsible for 2.4 million jobs, and it’s estimated that more than 200,000 new jobs could be created within a year as consumers adopt 4G technologies.” Peter Davidson, Senior Vice President for Verizon’s Federal Government Affairs
“We also want to commend Chairmen Upton and Walden for not only asserting the right of the Congress to set policy when it comes to auctions, but also for showing a willingness to deal with the FCC’s concerns about procedural flexibility in its conduct of those auctions. We believe their language strikes the right balance between all these concerns, and are pleased with the outcome, which is very significant for our industry and our country.” Jim Cicconi, Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs of AT&T
“Supporting the final passage of this compromise legislation will help drive the expansion of high speed mobile broadband across the country thereby encouraging innovation, stimulating our economy and better meeting the needs of wireless consumers.” Vonya B. McCann, senior vice president of Government Affairs of Sprint
“I’m really excited that we’ve been able to make this progress, which will represent a meaningful down payment toward the 500 MHz of spectrum for commercial use called for in the National Broadband Plan.” CTIA-The Wireless Association
“NAB salutes the tireless efforts of Congress to ensure that local broadcasters have a vibrant and robust future. Special thanks go to Chairmen Upton and Walden for steering this bill to conclusion, and to Reps. Dingell and Bilbray for a critically important amendment guaranteeing continued viewer access to TV station signals along the Canadian and Mexican borders.” Gordon Smith, President and CEO of National Association of Broadcasters
“Ensuring an open auction process is a smart move by lawmakers and one that will not only support efficient spectrum use, but is a win for consumers. Denying spectrum to companies that have pressing needs for it to accommodate their anticipated growth as customers consume more data and demand new innovations and capabilities ultimately hurts wireless users. Ensuring that more spectrum is available for all players is critical to keeping wireless broadband affordable, innovative and working for all consumers.” The Internet Innovation Alliance
“On behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest industrial trade association in the United States representing more than 11,000 small, medium and large manufacturers in all 50 states, thank you for your efforts to address spectrum issues that impact many of our member companies.” National Association of Manufacturers
“At a time when so many Americans are concerned about the future of their jobs, government revenue and spending plans, and whether the country has lost its edge on innovation, Congress has made a great decision that will result in significant investment in mobility and will have a meaningful impact on the creation of jobs with private investment.” Rhod Shaw, Executive Director of the High Tech Spectrum Coalition
“Such auctions will not only bring much needed revenue to the U.S. Treasury, but they will also promote innovation and spur job creation in America. This congressional action advances the deployment of a 21st century wireless broadband infrastructure, helping to ensure that the United States remains the world’s leading Internet innovator.” Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of CEA
“Kudos to committee leadership in both House and Senate, and to policymakers on both sides of the aisle, for uniting around ground-breaking spectrum reform. Voluntary incentive auctions are a brand new and much needed tool for re-purposing spectrum to maximize its utility for advanced technology uses. Congressional action comes not a minute too soon. US mobile traffic grew 172% in 2011 and growth is increasing exponentially as consumers adopt ever more powerful devices.” Mary Brown, Director of Cisco Government Affairs
“We applaud Chairmen Upton and Walden for their longstanding commitment to making available much-needed spectrum to consumers, and we commend House-Senate negotiators for crafting legislation that will pave the way for increased investment in both wireless and wireline infrastructure, as well as expanded economic growth and job creation for our nation.” Walter B. McCormick Jr., President and CEO of USTelecom
“Today’s action by the U.S. Congress is critical for addressing the growing spectrum crunch faced by the commercial mobile broadband industry, and will leverage the power of the mobile Internet to spur continued innovation and economic growth across our nation.” Robert Vrij, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s Americas Region.