COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCELRe:
Policies Regarding Mobile Spectrum Holdings, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
(September 28, 2012)
It has been nearly a decade since the Commission put in place its current approach to
spectrum holdings. Ten years ago the agency eliminated the spectrum cap in favor of a case-by-
case analysis of how much spectrum any one entity can hold. A decade is a lifetime in the world
of wireless—and perhaps even several generations. The mobile transformation that has taken
place over this time has been built on a foundation of access to spectrum. But as the wireless
revolution reaches new heights, the demand for airwaves has escalated, and the call to revisit our
policies regarding spectrum holdings has grown louder.
Today the Commission answers this call. Section 309(j) of the Communications Act
directs the agency to promote economic opportunity and competition in the wireless industry.
That means rules that encourage a competitive marketplace, with opportunities for incumbents as
well as new entrants. Our policies should foster an environment that will allow businesses to
innovate and grow.
At the same time, we must keep a steady eye on the larger context in which this spectrum
holdings review is taking place. We are in the middle of an unprecedented push to identify new
spectrum for wireless broadband services. As part of this effort, Congress has entrusted the
Commission to conduct incentive auctions and use the proceeds from these auctions to support a
nationwide, wireless broadband network for first responders. It is imperative that we not lose
sight of this goal.
Thank you to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for its work on this rulemaking.
I look forward to the record that develops.
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