Las Vegas - Jan 6, 2011 - FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski spoke on the opening day of the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. In his speech, he discussed the importance of mobile broadband and how it needs to grow quickly in the United States. Here are excerpts from his speech:
"The consumer electronic industry is going wireless, and the future success of this wide-ranging industry and others depends on whether our government acts quickly to unleash more spectrum -- the oxygen that sustains our mobile devices.
"We're in the early stages of a mobile revolution that is sparking an explosion in wireless traffic. Without action, demand for spectrum will soon outstrip supply.
"To seize the opportunities of our mobile future, we need to tackle the challenges of our invisible infrastructure. We need to free up more spectrum.
"If we don't tackle the spectrum challenge, network congestion will grow, and consumer frustration will grow with it. We'll put our country's economic competitiveness at risk, and squander the opportunity to lead the world in mobile.
"That's why unleashing spectrum to support mobile innovation is at the top of the FCC's 2011 agenda.
"Though we can't see it, spectrum is becoming increasingly essential to the daily lives of almost every American.
"But while American ingenuity and our appetite for wireless technology is limitless, spectrum is not. And the coming spectrum crunch threatens American leadership in mobile and the benefits it can deliver to our economy and our lives.
"The facts don't lie. The amount of spectrum for mobile broadband in the FCC pipeline represents about a threefold increase over where we were a few years ago. Sounds good, until you see the forecasts of a 35X increase in mobile broadband traffic over the next 5 years. And I believe that projection is conservative, not fully accounting for the explosive growth of tablets and other devices.
"The challenge we face here in the U.S. is not just that demand has spiked and spectrum is finite, it's that our spectrum policies are outdated, reflecting the communication needs of the 20th century, not the 21st. That's why, in 2011, a central priority at the FCC is unleashing spectrum to spur innovation, economic growth and job creation.
"[W]e need to encourage more innovative and efficient uses of spectrum. We'll continue to encourage dynamic spectrum sharing and secondary markets for spectrum, as well as development and deployment of femtocells, smart antenna technology, and devices that can access unlicensed spectrum like Wi-Fi to off-load traffic from cellular networks."