Friday, January 30, 2009

Save the Date for the WCAI’s Wireless Policy Summit!

As the new Administration is acting on its commitment to bring broadband access to all Americans, we at WCAI are organizing a Wireless Policy Summit to examine the role of wireless in achieving universal broadband access at affordable prices. A premier event for the wireless broadband industry, the Summit will offer an open forum for exchange of ideas and presents an ideal opportunity to meet face-to-face with top decision-makers who are shaping the future of the industry in 2009 and beyond. Come join key officials from government and industry as they debate such critical issues as:

Wireless and the Broadband Stimulus Package

The Role of Wireless in Universal Broadband Access

Application of Net Neutrality Principals to Wireless Broadband Networks

Reforming Spectrum Management: What’s Next?

Building a Wireless Broadband Network for Public Safety

The Summit will be held May 5-6, 2009 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC, with May 6 being reserved for member-only activities. More information is available on our website.

We look forward to seeing you in May!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

WCAI Congratulates Michael Copps on Nomination as Interim FCC Chair

President Barack Obama today nominated Michael Copps to be the acting Chairman of the FCC.

I had the privilege of working with Commissioner Copps for a number of years, while at the FCC. His nomination is a well-deserved recognition of dedication and an outstanding record of public service. A strong advocate for achieving universal broadband access in the United States, Commissioner Copps is a long-time friend of the WCAI and of the wireless broadband industry.

We at WCAI congratulate Commissioner Copps on his nomination and look forward to continuing to work with him and the FCC to accelerate wireless broadband deployment.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Farewell to Chairman Martin

At today’s FCC meeting, Chairman Kevin J. Martin announced that he is leaving the FCC on January 20, 2009.

I had the privilege of working for Chairman Martin for a number of years. During that time, I came to admire his many virtues, especially his courage – his willingness to make difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions because it serves the public interest. That is real leadership.

Through that leadership, Chairman Martin quite literally transformed the wireless broadband industry. When his tenure began, there was approximately 200 MHz of licensed wireless spectrum suitable for wireless broadband services. While Chairman, he tripled that amount, making approximately another 400 MHz of licensed spectrum available for wireless broadband.

  • In 2006, he made available 90 MHz of spectrum in the AWS-1 band, which resulted in a new nationwide entrant and almost 14 billion dollars in auction revenue.

  • That same year, he also completed the BRS/EBS rules that made available almost 200 MHz of spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band, which is driving WiMAX deployment in the U.S. today.

  • In 2007, he auctioned 62 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band that resulted in over 19 billion dollars in auction revenue, as much as all previous FCC auctions combined.

  • Also that year he made another 50 MHz of spectrum available in the 3650 MHz band on an innovative, “lightly licensed” basis for WiMAX and other technologies.

This year he greatly expanded the amount of unlicensed spectrum available for wireless broadband by unleashing the Digital Television white spaces.

Any one of these actions alone could be considered a crowning achievement in wireless for any FCC Chairman. Taken together, they leave a legacy that will likely never be matched.

On behalf of WCAI, I thank Chairman Martin for his unparalleled leadership and wish him all the best.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Best wishes to Commissioner Tate

At the FCC’s meeting last week, Commissioner Tate announced her departure from the FCC. On behalf of WCAI, I thank her for her exemplary public service. I will certainly miss her.

Commissioner Tate fulfilled her office with uncommon grace. She was always quick to thank Commission staff for their tireless efforts, to recognize the contributions of her colleagues, and try to find consensus on difficult issues. She also was an indefatigable advocate for children and families, persons with disabilities, and a lighter regulatory approach. It was truly an honor to work with her at the Commission, and I wish her all the best in her new endeavors.