Digital Divide Truly Getting Bridged

Digital Divide Truly Getting Bridged

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Citing an expected 30-fold increase in wireless communications usage, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is promising to seek more efficient spectrum regulation, including the reallocation of airwaves and encouragement of new technology such as smart antennas. Speaking at the CTIA Wireless Association's “I.T. and Entertainment” conference in San Diego in October, Genechowski focused on ideas that will speed up deployment of fourth generation (4G) wireless services, including tactics to assure broadband roaming services and high-capacity services in urban and rural areas.

Genachowski's speech, “America's Mobile Broadband Future,” (http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-293891A1.pdf) envisions a U.S. with many new devices and capabilities.

“At the FCC,” he said, “we…recognize that mobile is central to our mission. No sector of the communications industry holds greater potential to enhance America's economic competitiveness, spur job creation and improve the quality of our lives.” He said his goals are to foster innovation and investment, promote competition and empower and protect consumers.

He characterized the looming shortage of wireless airwaves as “the biggest threat to the future of mobile in America.” And he vowed to pursue policies that will “help ensure the U.S. has a world-leading communications infrastructure for the 21st Century.”

Noting that “communications technologies are complex and changing rapidly, the chairman said he is convinced that the “last thing we want is heavy-handed and prescriptive regulation.”

He added that the FCC's goal, “is to empower innovators, not lawyers.”

Speaking specifically about 4G, Genachowski said, “4G will make all the difference. 4G will provide mobile connectivity several times faster than we have today. It will provide a mobile Internet experience comparable to today's wireline networks—data rates measured in megabits per second instead of kilobits, latencies in mere milliseconds. After years of buildup, we can now see 4G on the horizon.”

Genachowski at CES

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) recently announced that Genachowski will be a featured speaker at the 2010 International CES®, to be held once again in Las Vegas, January 7-10, 2010.

“Genachowski will join CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro for a one-on-one discussion addressing issues vital to every segment of the technology industry,” CEA said in a released statement.

Genachowski's session is slated for 12-1 p.m., Friday, January 8, at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), North Hall, N255-257.

“Chairman Genachowski is an entrepreneur who understands the importance of technology and innovation for our country. The FCC is actively engaged on several fronts to bring broadband and emerging technologies to all Americans,” said Shapiro. “We are thrilled to welcome the Chairman to the International CES and to give CES attendees this unique opportunity to hear his candid views on the many crucial tech policy issues facing our industry.”

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