ARLINGTON, USA: Four leading high tech trade associations have joined forces to create the High Tech Spectrum Coalition (HTSC) to advocate for legislation that would give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authority to hold voluntary incentive auctions, as called for in the FCC’s March 2010 National Broadband Plan (NBP) and President Obama’s June 2010 spectrum memo.
HTSC members include the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).
Spectrum is a top priority for the high tech industry. HTSC members concur with the NBP and President Obama that the United States should make 500 MHz of spectrum available for broadband by 2020, 300 MHz of which the NBP specifies should be made available for mobile use by 2015.
The HTSC further agrees that voluntary incentive auctions are a critical new tool to advance a timely and efficient transition from existing lower value spectrum uses to higher value ones, enabling the United States to achieve its broadband goals.
Accordingly, the HTSC urges Congress to promptly grant the FCC authority to hold voluntary incentive spectrum auctions, as the FCC deems appropriate to advance the public interest. The HTSC continues to support the FCC’s authority and flexibility to allocate spectrum for either licensed or unlicensed wireless broadband uses.
The members of HTSC will work together to seek passage of legislation that would grant the FCC the authority to hold voluntary incentive auctions in order to make additional spectrum available for broadband in the near future.
“Broadband is the engine of growth in our innovation-driven economy, and creating a plan for doubling the amount of available spectrum shows that policy makers are embracing new technology as our best path forward,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “Now, Congress needs to take the steps necessary to make this plan a reality.”
“Wireless information and communication technologies and services make enterprises more efficient, consumers more productive and our economy more competitive globally,” said Dean Garfield, president and CEO of ITI. “The ever-changing Internet landscape requires that we take a practical 21st Century approach to the spectrum shortfall in the United States. Making additional spectrum available for commercial services as called for in the National Broadband Plan is going to be critical in creating jobs, driving innovation, and cultivating the technologies of the future.”
“The United States is facing a significant spectrum shortfall, and Congress should act to ensure the FCC has the authority and flexibility to support next-generation wireless systems,” said SIA President Brian Toohey. “Semiconductor innovation is a key enabling element of advanced wireless technologies, and we are pleased to be part of the High Tech Spectrum Coalition’s efforts to ensure that government spectrum policy evolves with advances in technology.”
“Spectrum is the life blood of the information and communications technology industry,” said TIA President Grant Seiffert, “and vital for its future, especially when considering that mobile broadband demand already exceeds capacity. TIA is fully engaged with the High Tech Spectrum Coalition and strongly supports its call for legislative action to grant the FCC authority to hold voluntary incentive spectrum auctions. We must give the FCC the tools it needs to reach the goal of the National Broadband Plan and the President’s call to free 500 MHz for mobile broadband.”