The World is Going Wireless

The world is going wireless.

- Barack Obama, June 28, 2010

At least, that's what the press release said.  In a few more words, the White House outlined yesterday a general plan to release 500 mHz of spectrum for use in mobile & wireless broadband.  The plan didn't get into the nitty gritty specifics-- where exactly all the spectrum will come from, whether some will be reserved for smaller carriers-- but it offered a mandate for Congress and federal agency heads to go forward with updating our spectrum allocation. 

Really, I don't have a lot to add to the President's memo:

Few technological developments hold as much potential to enhance America's economic competitiveness, create jobs, and improve the quality of our lives as wireless high-speed access to the Internet. Innovative new mobile technologies hold the promise for a virtuous cycle -- millions of consumers gain faster access to more services at less cost, spurring innovation, and then a new round of consumers benefit from new services. The wireless revolution has already begun with millions of Americans taking advantage of wireless access to the Internet.

Expanded wireless broadband access will trigger the creation of innovative new businesses, provide cost-effective connections in rural areas, increase productivity, improve public safety, and allow for the development of mobile telemedicine, telework, distance learning, and other new applications that will transform Americans' lives.

In the past couple years, mobile video has been driving innovation and adoption of mobile broadband.  It's also been choking up networks-- mobile data traffic has been increasing by over 130% annually-- and it's only going to get more congested without additional spectrum. This is important leadership on an important issue, and I'm glad to see the White House pushing the ball forward.