Archive for August, 2015

A Milestone in Expanding Broadband in order to Rural America

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Yesterday, the FCC reached a significant milestone in its mission to connect countryside America to robust broadband. Thurs was the deadline for some of the country’s largest phone companies to decide whether or not to accept “Phase II” funds from the FCC’s Connect America Fund in order to expand broadband to their rural clients. All told, ten carriers recognized over $1. 5 billion within annual support to provide broadband in order to nearly 7. 3 million customers in 45 states and the Earth of the Northern Mariana Islands. In exchange for receiving funding for all entitled areas that they serve in a provided state, these providers have devoted to expanding and maintaining broadband support with defined milestones and obligations over a six-year period.

This is great news for these rural communities, where broadband may spark economic development, support education, and provide residents with access to the news, information and cutting-edge Internet programs that are a fact of life in most other parts of the country. The funding that will flow to these areas will go a long way toward closing the electronic divide isolating rural America. And it builds on past Commission decisions that used “Phase I” Link America funding to expand high speed to over 637, 000 homes plus businesses.

The companies didn’t accept the entire offer, although most accepted most, if not all, of theirs. Like some other investments, this was a business decision every company had to make – so that as we expected, some of the companies dropped the offer of support in some states. But that doesn’t mean the particular residents in these communities will be left out. Instead, we’re getting ready to unleash the strength of market competition to provide high speed in these communities.

The FCC will open up the door for other companies, including wire companies, neighboring rate-of-return carriers, electric powered companies, satellite companies and fixed-wireless providers, to compete for the first time with all the price cap carrier incumbents in order to win these subsidies through a market-based auction. Our Rural Broadband Experiments program demonstrated that competitive online auctions can draw interest from a variety of providers willing to provide faster high speed at lower cost, and we now are eager to implement competitive bidding on the larger scale across the country.

We’re excited about the potential these auctions hold for connecting countryside America to broadband. And jooxie is excited about the fact that the 7. three or more million consumers served by the companies that accepted the Connect America Fund offer are on the path to getting better service.

Ensuring the Resiliency of Our Communications Infrastructure

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Imagine a residential area with tens of thousands of residents suffering the communications blackout for more than 48 hours. Not only were residents unable to send emails or make telephone calls, their banking system shut down, causing people unable to make credit card dealings or withdraw money from an ATM. This is not a hypothetical. It happened last month in the North Marinas Islands, a U. H. territory in the Western Pacific Sea. The cause: a break in an undersea cable connection. While this happened on the other side of the globe, it’s a cause for concern for all of us. Undersea cables carry more than ninety five percent of all U. S. international voice, data, and Internet traffic. Today, I’m circulating a proposal to my colleagues that would enhance the security and reliability of this key piece of the particular Internet’s physical infrastructure.

There are approximately 60 submarine (or “undersea”) cables that offer connectivity between the mainland U. H. and consumers in Alaska, The hawaiian islands, Guam, American Samoa, the North Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the U. S. Virgin Islands, as well as almost all connectivity between the U. S. and the rest of the world. Many submarine cables are jointly owned and operated by multiple companies.

While submarine cables are vital to America’s economic and national security, licensees currently only report outages on an ad hoc basis, and the information that we receive is too limited to be of use. In comparison, other communications providers — including wireline, wireless, and satellite —are required to report outages to the FCC’s Network Outage Reporting System (NORS).

What makes outage reports important? Think of the saw about how “you can’t manage what you don’t measure. ” The data we collect from NORS has allowed us to analyze outage trends and recommend solutions to make these systems more resilient and reliable. We should do the same for these undersea cables.

The particular FCC needs to get timely information regarding submarine cable outages, with sufficient detail to understand the nature and effect of any damage and interruption to communications, help mitigate any impact on emergency services and consumers, and assist in service restoration. A lot more consistent reporting on submarine cable connection outages will improve the FCC’s ability to spot trends, address systemic issues, and inform policy making.

At following month’s open meeting, the Commission will consider a draft NPRM that proposes to require submarine cable connection licensees to report significant outages in appropriate detail through NORS, where other communications providers already report outages.

Modern communications networks are usually increasingly interconnected. The failure of the single cable can have a ripple impact on multiple networks. Better reporting regarding the status of undersea cables will help us better anticipate and prevent disruptions to service.

OCBO Promotes Greater Supplier Diversity

Friday, August 21st, 2015

On Thursday, I put the opportunity to attend the morning classes of the Federal Communications Commission’s Fourth Supplier Diversity Conference, which highlighted the importance of these efforts in the marketing communications industry. The FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO) organized the event and during my welcoming remarks, I actually gave a special “shout out” to Director Thomas Reed because, just before his tenure, the agency got never held supplier diversity training courses.

It is not often described, but diversity is woven into the very fabric of our national marketing communications policy. Section 257 of the Marketing communications Act directs the FCC to lower barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses, in the provision of parts and services, to marketing communications companies.

Even if this particular directive were not in our federal statute, supplier diversity is important because it produces tremendous benefits to all stakeholders, not only the companies awarded the bid. Supplier diversity adds great economic worth to our nation because it enables these diverse businesses to grow, which in turn, creates incredible multiplier effects.

Our nation’s economic recovery plus sustainability are improved because these enterprises are more likely to hire from and spend money on their own communities, which often are underserved and lacking in adequate investment. Due to the fact many of these businesses are small and forced by lack of scale to be practical, they are more likely to be energized, perky and creative. They bring special talents and perspectives to market and are more likely to provide cutting edge products and services to existing and emerging consumer markets. Given the dramatic shifts in our demographic landscape here and around the world, these elements are proving to become keys to success.

Both panels were inspiring plus enlightening. Fernando Hernandez, the Director of Supplier Diversity at Microsoft, shared how he made the business enterprise case for growing that company’s global program by showing that, if it wants to truly serve the next billion customers, then it must address any existing challenges it may have in dealing with diverse populations here at house because many of those customers from rising markets will not look like the first two billion of already connected residents. So when it came to expanding the particular company’s training programs in their contact centers and internship programs, Microsoft not only trained those employees outside of what the core calling center features required, but they expanded their outreach efforts to the employee’s and intern’s family members. What this has yielded is a more skilled employee, with a better chance of being promoted, and because of this, is more willing to remain with the firm, and an intern whose household is more likely to support what to them may be an unchartered career path, because by being included, they at this point understand their child’s potential within the STEM field.

Sharon Pinder, President and CEO of the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council, joked that what the girl learned firsthand, when her “. com turned into a. bomb” is that minority and women owned-small businesses should not only receive their Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification, but that they should strive to diversify their client base. Representatives from AT& T, CBS, Comcast, Cox, Sprint, and Verizon also underscored the importance of the MBE certificate, engaging early with businesses before the request for proposal stage, having the ability to deliver on your contracted promises, plus meeting the actual people in the marketing communications companies who will be using the parts and services.

Probably the most inspiring presentation came from Tonee Bell, Chairman and CEO of A Unity System, Inc., a computer plus smartwatch manufacturer. Bell started their company 15 years ago with the dream of linking the digital divide and recycling where possible a percentage of company profits back into the community. Although they are originally from North Carolina, he has been DC-based for about three years and has attended every OCBO conference where he do a lot more than hand out business cards. This individual got to know every person in the space, cultivated relationships, and leveraged those people relationships which eventually led your pet to landing a major contract with Walmart. He also advised smaller businesses to “be patient and continual, confident but not cocky” when it comes to pitching your product. “Your priorities are not theirs… so you must figure out whenever to push, [when to] pull or [when to] circumvent. ”

Bell also shared a quote from his grandfather, Henry Booth, who was “the smartest man I’ve actually known even though he only had a third grade education. ” For me personally, this quote not only wonderfully sums up what drives the entrepreneurial resolve that will continue to fuel our own nation’s economy, but they are inspirational words to live by: “Why not go out on a limb? [Isn’t] that where the fruit is? ”

Following Steps on the Road to the Incentive Auction

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Earlier this month, the Commission adopted the Incentive Auction Bidding Procedures General public Notice, which sets March twenty nine, 2016 as the start date from the first-ever incentive auction. This drop, staff will release detailed information on the application process and announce the reverse auction opening bid prices. We will then start taking applications. These days we lay out the roadmap for the critical next steps and format the actions that will occur after the programs are submitted.

Application Procedures Public Notice . In early fall, we plan to release the Application Processes Public Notice . It will describe the nuts and bolts from the auction application process and post-auction procedures, including the opening dates for your application filing windows, the filing deadline, the schedule for make fun of auctions, and the information required within the auction application forms.

Opening Bid Prices – Reverse Auction . We will publicly announce the reverse auction opening bid prices for those broadcasters no later than over 8 weeks before the deadline for reverse public sale applications established in the Application Procedures Public Notice . The opening bid prices will be calculated using the formula already followed by the Commission in the Bidding Procedures Public Notice , applying the final TV-to-TV constraints plus interference-free population data for each place that we will also publicly release.

Opening Bid Prices – Forward Auction . For that forward auction, the Bidding Procedures Public Notice established the upfront payment and opening bid prices for each bidding unit, described how bidding units are calculated for each Partial Economic Are (PEA), and described when upfront payments would be due. This fall we will release the ultimate table of bidding units in each PEA so that potential candidates can plan for making their upfront payments.

Starting the Auction . After we release the information described above, we are going to open the windows for programs to participate in the reverse plus forward auction; the application windows will close before the end of the 12 months. After the application deadline, FCC personnel will review the applications regarding completeness and accuracy. Broadcasters will have the opportunity to make minor modifications or corrections necessary to complete their programs, and then, by March 29, 2016, each participating broadcaster that has completed an application must commit to its preferred initial bid option. That commitment will bind the broadcaster in order to relinquishing its spectrum usage rights at the opening price applicable in order to its preferred option. If, within the auction itself, the price offered to the broadcaster drops, the broadcaster has ceased to be bound to relinquish its spectrum except if it elects to remain in the public sale at the lower price.

All of us thought it would also be helpful to format the steps that will occur after the applications are filed and the broadcasters make their initial commitments.

Determination of the Initial Clearing Target . After broadcasters make their initial commitments, the auction system will determine the initial clearing target plus associated band plan. Reverse public sale participants will have the opportunity to participate in the mock auction, and then the reverse auction bidding rounds will begin.

Forward auction applicants with complete applications that wish to become qualified to bid will be required to make their upfront payments after the clearing target and band plan are announced. After upfront payments are made, qualified forward auction buyers will also have an opportunity to participate in the mock auction. The first round from the forward auction will commence simply no sooner than 15 business days right after we release the list of experienced forward auction bidders.

Webinars and Workshops . We recognize that this is a great deal of information, especially for entities that have not took part in an FCC auction before. Staff members will therefore be offering 3 types of training this fall, could applications are due: workshops, webinars and an interactive on-line guide. We will also be providing a technical servicenummer during the application and bidding processes. We started this process last week with our webinar on channel sharing. Soon after Labor Day we will be offering the webinar on the Putting in a bid Procedures Public Notice just adopted by the Commission. Later in the fall, after the Application Procedures Public Notice is released, we will hold two workshops: one each within the reverse and forward auctions. These types of workshops will go through the application procedure as well as provide overviews of the reverse and forward bidding systems, and they will be posted on the LEARN internet site for reference. We will also be providing on-line interactive auction tutorials, that will walk potential reverse and forward participants through the application and bidding processes. The interactive auction guide has been a valuable tool used by the Commission since 2009.

We look forward to working with you to provide you with the information you need to make the incentive public sale a success.

Modernizing the FCC’s IT

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Our world and the technologies we all use are changing rapidly. Therefore, the information technology used by the Federal government Communications Commission must change too. Over the past year, we have made significant progress to upgrade and modernize our infrastructure, and we continue to focus on modernizing the FCC’s legacy IT systems with the resources we have obtainable.

Over the Labor Day Weekend, the FCC IT Team will be working to upgrade and modernize the FCC’s legacy infrastructure. Starting Wednesday, September 2 nd at 6pm EDT, interactive public-facing web applications hosted at the FCC will not be available. We will work to have these web apps upgraded and available again by the morning of 8am EDT upon Tuesday, September 8 th .

These internet applications will include our Electronic Opinion Filing System (ECFS), Electronic Record Management System (EDOCS), Universal Licensing System (ULS), and other public-facing apps. Static content web pages under the domain, like the FCC’s consumer instructions, should remain available during this period.

Of note, our cloud-based FCC Consumer Help Desk, recently modernized to a Software as a Program (SaaS) option, will continue to run uninterrupted. It is our goal to modernize more of the FCC’s legacy IT to SaaS and other cloud-based platform options going forward. This modernization much more flexible, secure and resilient, and also more cost effective compared to the costs of maintaining on-premise IT solutions.

We understand that this temporary downtime before and during the Labor Day Weekend may be inconvenient for some FCC stakeholders; however , we have taken a number of steps to mitigate this wherever possible. For instance , filing deadlines for all Commission proceedings that happen to fall during the impacted time period will automatically be extended; more specific details can be found in a Public Notice here.

This work effort over the Labor Day Weekend is the latest in a series of on-going work to improve the FCC’s legacy IT systems, reduce just how much we spend on our legacy infrastructure, and improve public engagement with the Commission. The entire FCC IT Team thanks you for your support and understanding.

Global Coordination with Canada for a Productive Incentive Auction

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Today we are pleased to announce that individuals concluded another critical step in our efforts to harmonize our TELEVISION and wireless spectrum bands with Canada in preparation for the 2016 Incentive Auction. This follows the particular similar results we reached with South america last month.

FCC and Industry Canada staff have finalized a Statement of Purpose (SOI) setting forth a platform and timeline for repurposing TELEVISION spectrum for mobile broadband on both sides of the border. This came into being in conjunction with Industry Canada issuing its Decision on repurposing the 600 MHz Band.

Included in the Decision, Industry Canadawill adopt exactly the same 600 MHz Band Plan the FCC adopted last year. Industry Canada and the FCC will jointly repack TV stations on the same timetable. Combined repacking will produce significantly increased benefits and a better result regarding both countries, making more broadband spectrum available than if each country proceeded independently.

The SOI significantly reduces possible interference to future wireless functions in the border region. That means more “clean” spectrum to meet the increasing consumer demand for mobile broadband in both countries. By giving incentive auction participants the confidence that boundary markets will face less possible interference from Canadian broadcast channels, the SOI will promote more competitive bidding for licenses along the border and in turn encourage more U. S. broadcasters to participate in the particular auction.

SOIs are part of the normal course of coordination with the northern neighbor. In fact , the DTV transition was based on a similar set up with Canada and subsequent, more in depth final arrangements.

The particular SOI is another critical step on the path to a successful incentive auction. Moreover, this particular SOI with Industry Canada plus our recent coordination with our alternatives in Mexico establish the foundation for the harmonized use of the 600 MHz music group in North America that promises the benefits of economies of scale and scope to consumers in Canada, South america, and the United States.

All of us thank our counterparts at Industry Canada for their hard work in implementing these plans to successfully repurpose the 600 MHz band in the public interest.

Updating Media Rules to Better Serve Customers in Today’s Video Marketplace

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

While summer might be hiatus for some television programs, here at the Commission we’ve been difficult at work to ensure a more competitive video clip marketplace for American consumers.

In December of last year, Our elected representatives passed bipartisan legislation known as the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) Act of 2014, which usually instructs and permits the Commission payment to modernize rules regarding the satellite television, cable, and broadcast television markets. Today, I am circulating a bundle of orders and proposals that accomplish this mandate to better reflect today’s media marketplace and further protect the general public interest.

Our function under the STELAR legislation will achieve two primary pro-consumer ends. Initial, pursuant to STELAR requirements, we all adopt a process by which parties might seek modification of a TV station’s local television market to add or even delete communities in order to better reveal market realities. This process has been in place for cable since 1992, which order will extend that process to the satellite market, but will now also allow local governments, and also broadcasters and satellite providers, to find changes to markets for purposes of satellite carriage. Where satellite companies have the technical ability to carry the station, and where broadcasters are prepared to be carried, the market modification process may, in some instances, address the problem of “orphan counties” and allow consumers to receive previously unavailable in-state broadcast programming, including news, public affairs, and sports.

I am furthermore circulating a notice of suggested rulemaking (NPRM) to review the so-called “totality of the circumstances test” for good faith negotiations over retransmission of broadcast TV signals. Such negotiations have sometimes led to stand-offs and temporary blackouts for Pay TELEVISION customers. The Communications Act demands broadcasters and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) – cable companies and satellite providers – to negotiate retransmission consent “in great faith. ” The Commission has implemented this requirement through a two-part framework for evaluating good faith in this context. First, the Commission payment has established a list of objective good faith negotiation standards, the violation of which is considered a per se breach of the statutory obligation to negotiate in great faith. Second, even if the specific per se standards are met, the Commission might consider whether, based on the totality from the circumstances, a party has failed to negotiate retransmission consent in good faith. The NPRM currently before the Commission payment undertakes a robust examination of practices used by parties in retransmission consent negotiations, as required by Congress. The goal of the proposed rulemaking is to ensure that these negotiations are conducted fairly and in a way that protects customers.

Beyond our STELAR-required actions, my colleagues and I will certainly consider several additional items that guard consumers and modernize media plans in other ways.

Initial, we will update the Contest Guideline for the Internet age, allowing broadcasters to reveal the material terms of station-run contests online instead of, or in addition to, over the air. Commissioner O’Rielly required this modernization, and the NPRM obtained unanimous support.

We are also putting forth an order that proposes elimination of obsolete “exclusivity rules. ” These guidelines prevent an MVPD from providing subscribers an out-of-market broadcast train station, for example , when a retransmission consent challenge results in a local station being lowered from carriage. In this item, the particular Commission takes its thumb off the weighing scales and leaves the scope of such exclusivity to be decided from the parties, as we did in the Sports Blackout Order last year. In so doing, the particular Commission would take 50-year outdated rules off our books which have been rendered unnecessary by today’s marketplace.

I will also suggest adoption of several proposals discussed in the 2013 AM Radio Revitalization NPRM, which we believe will certainly further enhance the viability of the ARE broadcast service, and ask about further suggested updates by way of an FNPRM and NOI. I look forward to focusing on this issue, launched by then-Acting Chairwoman Clyburn and championed by Office Pai, and hope that tv producers will participate extensively. This comprehensive set of actions modernize our guidelines to keep them in line with the public interest in an ever-changing marketplace, and will assist to ensure the continued vitality of AM radio.

These actions work to bring governance current with the practical realities of today’s media landscape and will ensure that customers remain well-served by our press policies.

Achieving Next Generation 911 Goals

Friday, August 7th, 2015

America’s 911 operations centers are on the front lines in times of problems, fielding emergency calls and dispatching assistance to those in need. It is important that 911 call centers – which are busy saving lives each day – have the support needed to successfully and efficiently navigate the technologies transitions underway, particularly the move to IP networks and Next Generation 911. Accomplished right, this should vastly improve emergency response. The Task Force on Ideal Public Safety Answering Point Architecture (TFOPA), an expert advisory panel to the FCC, is central to this hard work.

Since its inaugural meeting within January, the TFOPA – comprised of state and local public safety leaders, directors of public safety answering points (PSAPs), emergency functions managers, operating service providers, and technologies innovators – has set its sights on addressing how PSAPs can best integrate NG911 functionality into their operations. At a meeting last week, the TFOPA provided interim reports indicating good progress made by its working groups, focusing on cybersecurity, NG911 architectures, and allocation of sources. We are looking forward to the final reports along with a unified set of recommendations from the TFOPA later this year.

I am optimistic that the TFOPA’s work will further the objective – shared by Chairman Wheeler, his fellow Commissioners, and the state and local public safety partners – of timely NG911 implementation throughout the nation. But the problems are real. As public safety authorities are well aware, adopting new technology for public safety can be a double-edged sword; as state and private sector organisations leverage more advanced technologies, they also should maintain legacy communications capabilities during a transitional period as the larger commercial communications ecosystem migrates to IP technologies. Maintaining two infrastructures raises cost and the potential for life-threatening outages. The longer the transition requires, the more difficult this challenge turns into as the rest of the commercial communications environment moves on.

Striking the appropriate balance in between maintaining the old and implementing the newest in PSAP operations is no easy task. We recognize state and local authorities’ leadership in this area. To that particular end, the TFOPA is playing an important role by helping to facilitate development of better options for 911 decision makers – options that will reduce the amount of technical variation between PSAPs, facilitate the development of 911 platform capabilities that take full advantage of cloud-based and other advanced technologies, and help cost successfully address equipment and cyber specifications so that 911 workforce development along with other NG911 implementation challenges do not get put aside. The group is also tackling the tough job of identifying funding options to provide sustainable support.

Some states are leading the charge on this front side by coordinating the NG911 execution efforts of PSAPs within their jurisdictions, implementing programs that will improve PSAP efficiency and effectiveness, and even achieving across borders to coordinate with neighboring states. In other states, however , timely, efficient NG911 implementation is definitely hindered by restrictions on state 911 administrators’ power to implement new policies and by governance mechanisms that discourage rather than incentivize coordinated action by individual PSAPs. And of course, just about all states face challenges in the timely transition to and long-term sustainment of NG911, given limitations upon funding and the rapidly changing technical and communications landscape.

To meet these challenges, states and localities must have the tools – financial, operational, and technical – to realize NG911 capabilities in a manner that minimizes cost and danger. For example , investing in a well-executed and timely NG911 transition may reduce the duration and expense of running seite an seite legacy and NG911 architectures – not to mention the risk of 911 outages caused by multiple interdependent systems.

These are complex problems, but a productive, collaborative dialogue is underway. As Chairman Wheeler has emphasized, the FCC has no higher priority than public safety communications – and we are steadfastly committed to working in partnership with other Federal, state, and local public safety officials as we collectively move to take the nation’s 911 infrastructure into the modern world.

In the First Person: A Broadband Trip with Diabetes

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

During the last year, the Connect2HealthFCC Task Force has had the freedom of meeting and learning from a few remarkable people who are overcoming incredible health odds and embracing broadband health solutions along the way. We share one such experience from a young diabetes counsel below – in her own words and phrases. This account again demonstrates the particular transformative power of broadband within health and in meeting the needs of shoppers with health challenges. P. Michele Ellison, Chair

* * *

I am Tesch West and I have diabetes. I am also a legal intern for the FCC’s Connect2Health Task Force, where we are charting the broadband long term of health and care and working to ensure that the FCC stays ahead of the health technology curve. I was influenced to work on this Task Force due to the impact these issues have on my life. I hope that by sharing my own story, it might inspire others with diabetes and other chronic diseases for more information about the positive impacts broadband-based health technologies can have on their health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 29 million Americans have diabetes, and only 5% are living with kind 1 diabetes. While 5% might seem insignificant in comparison to the other 95% coping with type 2 diabetes, I can assure you that the 1 . 25 million Americans with type 1 would certainly disagree. I should know – I am just one of them. I was diagnosed when I has been 10 years old. I haven’t let an autoimmune disorder hold me back from achieving my desires, such as going to law school.

Broadband health technology has been a big section of my success. I have a wireless implantable sensor that tests my blood sugar levels and notifies me when my medication should be delivered. I literally sleep easier knowing it will wake up me if there is a problem. Also, my glucometer and insulin pump use radio frequencies to “talk” to each other and I can download all of this information and send it to my doctors. Quite the change from 14 years ago while i was first diagnosed – the hospital personnel drew my blood for a basic glucose test with a plastic pipe and a glucometer the size of a loaf of bread.

I am just also encouraged by other innovative technologies potentially on the horizon for people coping with diabetes, such as a contact lens glucometer, which usually uses computer chips to detect glucose levels in tear drops. Furthermore, a device called a “bionic pancreas” can track blood sugar levels, send the data to a smartphone, and automatically dispense insulin and glucagon as needed.

Until recently, I only heard from my endocrinologist about three times per year, which meant that staying inspired and vigilant in my health care was obviously a burden I carried alone. Nowadays, I have a team of people helping me no matter where I am. With electronic health records and a patient portal on my smartphone, I can communicate with my doctor and other caregivers to keep me healthy. Instead of waiting for an appointment, I could get the advice and support I need when I need it to keep fighting this disease.

With the help of broadband-enabled technologies, such as telehealth and implantable sensors, my diabetes is under control and manageable. It will not define me. It is only a section of my life. Working at the Connect2HealthFCC Job Force, I have come to realize that by charting the future of broadband-enabled health care, we have been charting the future of people like me.

[Tesch West is a second year law student at George Washington University Law School. She is currently working as a legal intern on the Connect2HealthFCC Task Force and has served as a national youth advocate on various issues concerning diabetes and diabetes research. ]

Top towards Next Generation “5G” Mobile Services

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Over the past decade, wireless services and technologies have got dramatically evolved while shaping our economy and society. We’ve moved from analog to digital, from voice only services to wifi broadband, from 2G to 4-G, and beyond. The Commission provides consistently fostered policies promoting wifi deployment and innovation. We have noticed an extraordinary growth in demand for wifi services. We’ve made additional range available, but also pursued a flexible use regulatory strategy that allows companies to use spectrum resources to meet their needs and to develop and deploy innovative technologies without Commission acceptance (of course, with necessary competitive safeguards).

Technological innovation both supports and extends the boundaries of flexible make use of policies, allowing more and more uses plus users to coexist. This is accurate of so-called “5G technologies”, allowing higher-spectrum bands for mobility than previously thought possible. These higher-frequency bands are currently allocated for a variety of uses, including fixed, mobile, plus satellite. It is because of the success of flexible use policies that assisted the United States become a leader in LTE that we intend to build our 5G policies on the bedrock of flexible use. 5G may mean not just better broadband, but also services plus applications fundamentally different from those that are possible today, including services not yet even imagined, and possibly entire new industries.

My goal is to foster an environment in which the widest possible variety of brand new technologies can grow and flourish. The Commission took the first step in the fall of 2014 when it used a Notice of Inquiry asking about expanded wireless use of higher-frequency groups. We expect to follow up on the Notice of Inquiry and issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the usage of higher-frequency bands for mobile along with other uses this year.

The NPRM will focus on developing a flexible regulatory framework that will enable maximum use of higher-frequency bands by a wide variety of providers, whether the service they provide is mobile, fixed, or satellite. I anticipate that we will discover a range of regulatory strategies depending on the details of each proposed higher-frequency band, which includes licensed, unlicensed, and hybrid contributed models.

In addition , as an implementation of current flexible rules, I foresee lower-frequency bands playing a role in 5G. For example , the timing of the motivation auction makes the 600 MHz music group a prime candidate for application of a wide-area 5G coverage level. In much the same way that 700 MHz paved the way for America’s leading deployment of 4G, so could 600 MHz accelerate U. S. deployment of 5G.

To establish an environment to push innovations and investments in 5G technologies, we will continue to work with relevant stakeholders and coordinate closely along with NTIA and other federal agencies. We are going to consider ways in which new technology enables brand new opportunities, such as two-way spectrum writing to increase capability of government and commercial users alike. In addition , we will encourage and support other agencies’ attempts to fund research on 5G and will encourage building cybersecurity protections for new 5G networks from the start.

We will also take an active role on 5G problems internationally, monitor standardization processes, plus encourage globally harmonized spectrum designed for 5G to the extent possible.

At the upcoming 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC), we will continue to support harmonized international spectrum allocations for mobile high speed and will encourage the adoption of the plan for identifying spectrum for cellular technologies in higher-frequency bands using the aim of reaching decisions regarding range for mobile use at the following WRC, which is expected to be kept in 2019. Studying all of the range above 6 GHz would be unfocused and would be resource intensive while identifying too few bands for study risks the possibility that none becomes practical. Accordingly, we need to identify enough groups likely to yield a successful outcome.

The range bands proposed by the United States to become studied for consideration at WRC-19 include 27. 5-29. 5 Gigahertz, 37-40. 5 GHz, 47. 2-50. 2 GHz, 50. 4-52. 6 GHz, and 59. 3-71 Gigahertz. We will consider these bands, or even a subset of the bands, in additional detail in an upcoming NPRM, using the goal of maximum use of higher-frequency bands in the United States by a wide variety of companies. We are committed to working with both household and international partners on identifying spectrum and on conducting the necessary technical sharing and compatibility studies.

We are in the early stages on the path towards 5G. I encourage stakeholders in the cellular broadband industry, incumbent fixed service providers, satellite providers, and others to take a fresh look at how things are done, to be open to the extraordinary opportunities this next generation technology may present, and to continue to work individually plus collectively to help unlock the incredible benefits of 5G, providing new opportunities and improving the lives of Americans and people around the world.