Ms. Rosenworcel Comes to Washington: Calls on FCC to Fast-Track Spectrum Solutions

I had occasion to hear FCC Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel’s remarks on Tuesday at the Silicon Flatirons conference on spectrum in Washington.  She is the kind of fresh voice whose insights can invigorate organizations. And she certainly doesn’t shy away from expressing her views.  Of most particular interest to us was her opinion that FCC must break their long-standing habits and become more nimble in serving consumers and keeping pace with the industry it regulates. As she said: “speed matters.”

She was articulate on spectrum shortage issues, which are in danger of jeopardizing our love affair with mobile services. As she observed, and as our editor Richard Bennett and High Tech Forum contributors have outlined exhaustively in this blog, demand for airwaves is going up at an astonishing pace, but the supply of available spectrum allocated to keep consumer smartphones and tablets working as intended is declining.  Rosenworcel embraced innovation in technology, topology and the range of spectrum policies, including spectrum auctions (at a pace the digital age demands). She offered some new ideas about federal spectrum, tower siting and public safety.

While supporting the pursuit of traditional repurposing of federal spectrum and the recent call for large-scale sharing of federal spectrum resources, Rosenworcel also praised the idea of financial incentives for government agencies to make spectrum available for consumer services, highlighting the need to avoid unnecessary delays in the deployment of wireless facilities resulting from certain government facility siting approval processes.  She called for the FCC to start a new proceeding on model rules for facility siting for state and local governments. Since wireless facilities make wireless broadband possible, the Commissioner affirmed the importance of getting America’s communities more robust wireless coverage.

It was refreshing.  Let’s see if the Commission can meet her challenge.


  • James T

    I don’t know … can you really get any federal agency to be “nimble”? It seems like a pipe dream, but I agree it’s at least nice to have a Commmissioner acknowledge the problems.

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