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Finite Spectrum, Infinite Demand

December 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

There’s no debate that America has fallen behind other, less-developed countries in building the network of tomorrow. By download speeds, we rank behind Romania and Bulgaria. More people per capita have mobile broadband in Kuwait and Australia than in the U.S.

At a CQ Roll Call forum on spectrum scarcity last week, Representative Cliff Stearns (R-Florida) put it best: “…it’s really a little bit embarrassing, even though we’re a large economic power, that we have, as a country, allowed this to occur.”

There are a number of potential ways to return America’s infrastructure to the top – improved wireless technology chief among them. As was noted by the Congressman and the other representatives from think tanks, media outlets, Congress, and industry groups at the forum, the availability of wireless spectrum is the key factor in our success.

But are we facing a spectrum crunch or a spectrum crisis? There is no argument that America is facing a capacity shortfall in its wireless data networks. The difference between a crunch and crisis will be how quickly and effectively we act today.

It’s time to reassess our priorities and act quickly to ensure Internet access in America is as fast, affordable, and ubiquitous as it is in other parts of the world. As noted in the video below of one panel at the Roll Call forum, working to empower alternative business models in new regions of spectrum is essential to addressing the growing consumer demand – and economic need – for wireless broadband access.

In short, we need wireless spectrum dedicated to mobile broadband too much to let politics and entrenched interests dictate policy. Use our letter writing tool to tell Congress that the impact of the lack of additional wireless spectrum on consumer choice, America’s economy, and the future of innovation in our country is too important to ignore any longer.