Spectrum Policy
Licensed v. Unlicensed

“This new unlicensed spectrum will be a powerful platform for innovation…When we unleash American ingenuity, great things happen.”
–FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski

Spectrum is more important than ever. The world has gone mobile and as the demand for wireless services increases, our dependence on spectrum will only grow greater.

Spectrum, however, is a finite resource. Unlicensed spectrum remains the most efficient and cost-effective way to make more spectrum available to a wider audience, allowing multiple users to tap into the limited resource. A sound unlicensed spectrum policy is crucial to fulfilling consumer demand for broadband services.

Unlicensed spectrum is unique in that its availability has provided a crucial platform for “innovation without permission.” This kind of innovation stems from low barriers to entry, the ability to experiment and collaborate, the deployment of open standards, and the creation of multi-layer competition, all of which allow anyone to bring low-cost products and services to market.

This license free service has provided the platform for the creation of numerous products we all take for granted. Examples include cordless phones, remote control devices and, most notably, Wi-Fi networks.

Just as the Internet has become a ubiquitous platform for innovation, in its own way Super WiFi is the first of the “innovation bands” that will support an array of technologies, networks, business models, and applications – and drive us towards renewed economic growth, investment and global competitiveness.

Chairman Genachowski has embraced the potential of resource saying, “This new unlicensed spectrum will be a powerful platform for innovation…When we unleash American ingenuity, great things happen.”

The FCC’s National Broadband Plan recognizes the economic and other benefits that flow from unlicensed spectrum, and calls for both continuing to promote the Super WiFi, and freeing up a new contiguous block of spectrum for unlicensed uses. U.S. spectrum policy should unequivocally include a healthy, commercially viable amount of spectrum for unlicensed uses, which will play a key role in fulfilling the nation’s spectrum reform agenda as well as provide a key platform for innovation.

The Wireless Innovation Alliance (WIA) is a broad-based group of innovators, providers, consumer groups, think tanks and education organizations that believe that more efficient use and expanded access to the nation’s spectrum resources are fundamental to the future of U.S. economic policy and global competitiveness, and that we face potential spectrum scarcities in both licensed and unlicensed bands that must be addressed in order for innovation and investment to move forward.
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4:27 AM Mar 23