CLIP Takes Bold Stance Against FCC Technology Mandate

CLIP Takes Bold Stance Against FCC Technology Mandate

Director of New Telecom Project Files Comments Today
June 01, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C, June 1, 2012 – Fred Campbell, Director of the Communications Liberty and Innovation Project (CLIP) at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, submitted comments today with the Federal Communications Commission opposing a technology mandate in the 700 MHz band after deployment of services has begun and without industry consensus.

Today’s filing argues that imposing a technology mandate in the 700 MHz band after auctioning the spectrum pursuant to flexible rules would be another step backwards at the FCC. In a blog post summarizing his comments on CLIP’s website, DriveInnovation.org, Campbell writes:

The “700 MHz band” is the spectrum in which mobile providers are deploying 4G LTE – the latest mobile Internet technology. The 700 MHz band is currently subject to the FCC’s “flexible use” policy, which allows licensees to choose the service they wish to provide (mobile, broadcast, etc.) and the technology they wish to deploy (GSM, CDMA, WiMAX, LTE, etc.). This market-based policy maximizes technology and business model innovation and allows mobile providers to rapidly upgrade their networks without asking the government for permission. As a result, 4G LTE was deployed in the U.S. more quickly than anywhere else in the world.

[But] in its new 700 MHz proceeding, the FCC is asking whether it should abandon its flexible use policy in the 700 MHz band.

Campbell’s comments oppose this change. He notes that since the early 1990s, the FCC had been making progress toward a more market-based approach to communications policy. Over the last two years, however, Campbell points out that the FCC has looked more like a 1930s-style central planning agency than a 21st century expert. A surprise technology mandate in the 700 MHz band would bring it another step closer to its central planning past.

Read Campbell's full blog post here.

The Communications Liberty and Innovation Project (CLIP) is a new program of the Center for Technology and Innovation launched by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) under the direction of Fred Campbell, who previously served as Wireless Bureau Chief at the FCC. Read more about the project here.

Contact: Fred Campbell, 703.470.4145