FCC Chief Soldiers on as ‘Captain Crunch’ in Effort to Alleviate Spectrum Shortage

Broadband's Impact, FCC, National Broadband Plan, Spectrum, Wireless October 21st, 2010

, BroadbandBreakfast.com

WASHINGTON, October 21, 2010 – The Federal Communications Commission is highlighting the looming issue of “spectrum crunch” as smart phones and other data-hogging devices eat up valuable spectrum.

The agency released a new white paper titled, “Mobile Broadband: The Benefits of Additional Spectrum,” with findings such as:

*Within the next five years, the spectrum deficit is likely to approach 300 megahertz;

*This crunch will be driven by significant growth of mobile broadband traffic, on the order of 35 times recent levels;

*Mobile broadband growth is likely to outpace the ability of technology and network improvements to keep up by an estimated factor of three; and

*Meeting this need may create $120 billion in spectrum value, with hundreds of billions more in total value to the economy.

The National Broadband Plan recommended that the FCC make available 500 MHz of new spectrum for wireless broadband within 10 years, including 300 MHz for mobile flexible use within five years. The president directed in a June 28 executive memorandum that 500 MHz of new spectrum be made available for mobile and fixed broadband use.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who might just deserve the moniker Captain Crunch as he has the tough task of leading efforts to alleviate the shortage, said, “The explosive growth in mobile communications is outpacing our ability to keep up. If we don’t act to update our spectrum policies for the 21st century, we’re going to run into a wall – a spectrum crunch – that will stifle American innovation and economic growth and cost us the opportunity to lead the world in mobile communications.”

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