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FCC 12-119



Policies Regarding Mobile Spectrum Holdings, WT Docket No. 12-269
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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