Recently, President Obama delivered his fourth State of the Union address. It was the second consecutive year he addressed the nation’s impending broadband crisis as part of the broader need to repair America’s infrastructure. The President strongly believes that we need to take action: “So much of America needs to be rebuilt. We’ve got…an incomplete high-speed broadband network that prevents a small business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world.”
Wireless for America’s advocacy efforts are centered on this idea, but we know that there is a long and complex road ahead. Not only is America’s infrastructure at issue, but also the quickly dwindling wireless spectrum used for so much – from phone calls to first responders to mobile commerce.
To reach our goal of providing greater access, competition and lower prices for millions of consumers, we will need innovative companies to step forward with a solution, companies like LightSquared. Born a start-up venture with a vision to change America’s broadband infrastructure, bringing wholesale value and a brand new business approach to wireless, LightSquared offers one of the most inventive solutions to poor American infrastructure and the spectrum crunch.
Disappointingly, the process has delayed LightSquared’s launch repeatedly where special interests and political influence are prevailing over objective engineering. LightSquared’s CEO, Sanjiv Ahuja, recently wrote an op-ed for Politico detailing the egregious government bureaucracy and entrenched interests that are preventing the nation from building out this critical infrastructure. While private-sector solutions with deployment-ready technologies sit awaiting approval, our nation is missing out on potential job growth and increased competition in the marketplace. Mr. Ahuja is not the only one noticing this aggravating trend. Grover Norquist’s column in The Hill spells out this obstructionist farce. All the while, America, both rural and urban, grows impatient with Washington’s inaction.
Job creation, innovation, global competition, and American markets free of political favoritism are at stake. We’re asking you to act now. Innovation cannot be stifled because of vested corporate interests. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have an obligation to support the goals of the Administration — building America’s wireless infrastructure so everyone has access to a 21st century public good. Urge the NTIA and FCC to support the development of our wireless network and give the country the opportunity to have greater choice, affordable prices, and more opportunity.