Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WCAI Congratulates Alcatel-Lucent on Selection as Primary Vendor for Verizon’s LTE Network

Verizon Wireless announced today that it selected WCAI Board Member Alcatel-Lucent as one of the two primary vendors for its initial LTE network deployments in the United States. WCAI congratulates Alcatel Lucent on this major announcement. As the industry is migrating to the next-generation technology networks, LTE will play a major role in enabling new forms of communication and helping achieve universal wireless broadband connectivity worldwide. A technology-neutral Association for the wireless broadband industry, WCAI promotes continued progress in the deployment and adoption of wireless broadband technology around the globe. We are delighted to see our Board members, such as Alcatel Lucent, play an instrumental role in achieving this goal.

Friday, February 13, 2009

WCAI Files for Extension of FCC Form 477 Deadline

Joined by several other industry trade associations, WCAI today sought extension of the March 2, 2009 filing deadline for FCC Form 477, which is used by the Commission to collect detailed information regarding the state of broadband deployment in the United States. Because that form is still not available for filers to complete online (as is now required), broadband providers face a practical impediment to meeting the Commission’s March 2, 2009 filing deadline. We urged the Commission to extend the filing deadline until 30 days after the newly-revised version of that form becomes available for online completion by filers. Joining WCAI were the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, COMPTEL and TEXALTEL.

WCAI Applauds Inclusion of Funding for Wireless Broadband in Economic Stimulus Bill

Congress has passed an economic stimulus bill, which includes funding for the delivery of wireless broadband to rural areas. WCAI applauds Congress for keeping in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill over $6 billion in grants for the expansion of broadband areas across America. Continued progress in the deployment and adoption of broadband technology is vital to ensuring that the United States remains competitive worldwide. As the only broadband platform that is capable of providing access everywhere, all the time, wireless broadband is essential to bringing innovation and helping reach the Obama Administration’s goal of achieving universal broadband connectivity. WCAI is particularly pleased that under the final Bill, commercial entities are clearly eligible for direct grants from NTIA. WCAI members stand ready to move forward with plans to bring wireless broadband to rural and underserved areas. Having direct access to grant funding will allow them to do so in a timely manner, helping create jobs fast, enable productivity, and jump-start our economy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WCAI Urges Congress to Ensure Wireless Broadband Eligibility for Government Grants

As Senate and House conferees are working out the details of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, I sent letters to Congressional leaders today, urging them to assure that commercial entities are eligible for direct grants from NTIA by adopting the House definition of “eligibility” for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. WCAI’s members stand ready to play a leading role in creating jobs and bringing wireless broadband to those areas of the country that are not adequately served. To achieve these goals, commercial wireless broadband providers must be clearly eligible and have direct access to grant funding.

The letters went to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Thad Cochran, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Jerry Lewis, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel, and House Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member Dave Camp.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Senate Approves Grants for Wireless Broadband Deployment

The Senate today passed an economic stimulus bill, which includes $6.65 billion in grants for broadband deployment. WCAI is pleased to see funds approved for the delivery of wireless broadband to rural areas. As the only broadband platform that is capable of providing access everywhere, all the time, and at affordable prices, wireless broadband is essential to broadband connectivity, especially in rural areas. Many WCAI members serving rural and underserved areas would be in a position to implement their business plans more quickly and broadly with the support of the government funding. This would create new jobs, strengthen our economy and ensure that America remains competitive globally.