White House Wants Better Use of Government Spectrum
The Obama Administration signed an order today mandating that federal agencies make more efficient use of the spectrum they own so that it can be shared with consumers. Obama has for years been seeking ways to free up 500MHz of spectrum that can be turned over to wireless network operators and used for mobile broadband. This latest effort is targeting government use of the country's airwaves. Sprint and AT&T were quick to laud the Administration's move. "Sprint appreciates the steps that President Obama and his Administration have taken today to help ensure that spectrum is used in the most efficient and effective ways possible," said Vonya B. McCann, senior vice president of Government Affairs at Sprint. "Every day, consumers, businesses, and government are relying more and more on wireless broadband services. A steady supply of new spectrum, along with continued improvements in technology and innovation, are key to providing those services." AT&T's Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President, External and Legislative Affairs, said, "We commend the White House for recognizing the enormous progress in U.S. broadband deployment, wireless in particular, and for their commitment to meet the need for more spectrum so these investments can continue." Other wireless network operators have yet to comment publicly.
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Sprint / AT&T
FCC: Still Work to Do to Free Up More Spectrum
FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler underscored the need to find and free up more spectrum in a recent meeting with the Obama Administration. Wheeler met with Lawrence Strickling, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, to discuss the FCC's progress in finding 500 megahertz of spectrum for wireless broadband.
Senators Revive Wireless Innovation Act
A quintet of Senators recently re-introduced the Wireless Innovation Act of 2015, which asks the federal government to find 200 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband. The act was sponsored by Senators Marco Rubio, Roger Wicker, Kelly Ayotte, Cory Gardner, and Ron Johnson.
Industry Reacts to White House Net Neutrality Push
Following the White House's request to reclassify the internet as a utility, a number of industry organizations have fielded responses. First to respond was FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
White House Asks FCC to Classify Internet as a Utility
President Barack Obama today sided with the concept of net neutrality and laid out a plan to keep the internet open. "We cannot allow internet service providers to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.
Republicans to Battle FCC Broadband Plan
Republicans contend the FCC's proposed net neutrality rules are evidence that the White House has taken control of the agency and must be stopped. "The president gave a speech demanding that the FCC seize control of the Internet and treat it as a government-regulated utility," said Senator Ted Cruz, referring to President Barack Obama's November statement.