Significant news today from the federal agencies whose job it is to find 500 MHz of radio spectrum needed for the booming mobile broadband market, 300 MHz of that needed in the next five years.
First, the National Information and Telecommunications Administration in the Department of Commerce announced that it would soon be releasing a report that will identify 115 MHz of spectrum available for commercial broadband in the next 5 years: 1675-1710 MHz and 3550-3650 MHz. NTIA also said it would continue to examine 20 MHz of spectrum on both ends of the 4200-4400 MHz band for possible use, as well as potentially relocating federal users at 1755-1780 MHz.
Meanwhile, across town, the Federal Communications Commission hosted a day-long Spectrum Summit. At that Summit, the FCC released the results of a new study: “Mobile Broadband: The Benefits of Additional Spectrum.” I’m pleased that Cisco figures prominently in that study since the FCC used Cisco’s own Visual Networking Index demand data in evaluating the future demand curve for mobile broadband. The FCC’s study concludes that the demand growth will outpace both technology’s ability to become more efficient, and carriers’ ability to add more cell sites, so that by 2015, we’ll need 300 MHz of new spectrum to meet demand. If anything, the FCC’s prediction may be very conservative.
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Tags: broadband, FCC, mobile
In working across different countries on their broadband strategies, inevitably the question arises of how does one best measure broadband penetration. Some countries have published figures of broadband based on a population (per capita) basis, while others have opted to adopt measures of broadband penetration by household. Why the difference of approach and what’s the significance of using one over the other?
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Tags: broadband, household, penetration, per capita, population, statistics
Four developments this past week illustrate the highs and lows in the difficult battle to migrate American airwaves into the service of wireless broadband, an objective that has been recognized by President Obama, the Federal Communications Commission, and just about everyone who matters inside the Washington beltway as a national imperative.
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If the critical link between radio frequency spectrum availability and the future of the Internet isn’t apparent to you, take a look at what’s happening in Congress. Your representatives have introduced, or are circulating drafts, of nearly a dozen major bills that would have the effect of “re-purposing” radio spectrum. Mobile broadband users, public safety, and possibly SmartGrid networks could be the beneficiaries of a massive transition of 20th century spectrum uses to 21st century ones.
While most of these bills are not likely to pass this year, they do lay down a marker for when a new Congress convenes in January.
Today, the leadership of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, Representatives Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Cliff Stearns ( R-FL ), joined forces to introduce a bill that would do one very important thing – give the FCC the authority to conduct a so-called “incentive auction.” In the Senate, Senators Olympia Snowe(R-ME) and John Kerry (D-MA) introduced a broader bill that includes a similar provision. What’s with incentive auctions?
Simply put, incentive auctions are a tremendous tool to help the FCC transition commercial spectrum from 20th century uses to 21st century ones, and to do so on a basis that is entirely voluntary to the existing licensee.
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In a fascinating profile of Thomas Edison that appeared recently in Time Magazine I was reminded once again of Edison’s importance to America’s historic strength in science, innovation and discovery. Edison’s goal was to create a “minor invention” every ten days and a “major invention” every six months. His track record was astounding: 1,093 total patents and key breakthroughs such as the phonograph, storage battery, early motion picture technology and the filament that made the light bulb work, to name just a few.
Strong intellectual property protection has been a key to the legacy of Edison and to America’s continued technology leadership. Cisco therefore welcomes the recent announcement of the first ever US National IP Strategy. A significant landmark in the protection of US inventiveness, creativity and innovation, the strategy is result of an extraordinary collaboration among Federal agencies, led by Victoria Espinel, the recently appointed and first US IP Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC).
The Constitution tells us that legal protection of intellectual property rights is not an end in-and-of-itself; rather, those rights are established and protected in order to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.” Effective IPR protection results in advancements in science and the arts; ineffective IPR protection hinders further discovery and innovation. The Administration’s effort is a big step in the right direction.
This plan is the culmination of extensive outreach and consultation with government, industry and consumers by Ms. Espinel and her team. The legislation that created the office of the IP Enforcement Coordinator was championed by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as great a friend of innovation as has ever served in that role. The 2008 PRO IP Act established the post in the White House Office of Management and Budget and directed it to report to Congress on its strategic plans to better enforce our nation’s intellectual property regime. Ms. Espinel has brought to life Senator Leahy’s vision with her efforts to drive to crack down on those who would steal intellectual property and create counterfeit goods which undermine the lifeblood of our economy by denying enterprises the fruits of their labors, and who would endanger national security by providing fake goods. Already she’s making a difference in working to improve Department of Homeland Security efforts to intercept fake goods at our borders.
Cisco welcomes suggestions in the report to improve coordination among all levels of law enforcement and between the private and public sector, and supports the Administration and Congress in their implementation of its recommendations. Ms. Epinel’s commitment to interagency coordination has resulted in a comprehensive, mutually-reinforcing plan to address all aspects of intellectual property theft which costs our economy billions of dollars each year and poses risks to our economic and national security.
As one of America’s most innovative companies, we at Cisco look forward to working with the Ms. Espinel and her team as they implement this plan.
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