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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're kidding, right? The man whose legacy is the crashing DTV nascar. The man who put us in the rear for broadband? The man who handed the telecom industry over to AT&T and had a vendeta against cable? No, no Farewell. "Dont let the door hit you on the way out" would be the salutation.