FCC Chairman warns of looming wireless demand crisis

October 8, 2009

San Diego, CA (ChattahBox) — The chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission warned yesterday in a speech to wireless-industry executives attending the CTIA conference in San Diego, that there is not enough room in the airwaves for the “explosion” in wireless data traffic.  Facing a possible thirtyfold increase in wireless Internet traffic over the next five years with only a threefold increase in network capacity, Genachowski calls the gap a “looming spectrum crisis,” setting the stage for a big realignment of spectrum usage as the government tries to help mobile carriers keep up with consumer demand.   Genachowski proposed two solutions: reallocating existing spectrum now used for other purposes, and encouraging development of new technologies that use spectrum more efficiently.  The FCC has raised tens of billions of dollars by auctioning off airwaves to the nation’s big wireless carriers to provide mobile broadband access and wireless applications, which often require large amounts of bandwidth.  Genachowski who has been on the job for three months drew applause from the audience, when he vowed that his agency would expedite requests to put up cell towers, help clear spectrum and clarify policies on issues such as roaming.  Reiterating his previous statements on net neutrality, Genachowski said he favored regulations that would prohibit carriers from delivering some content faster than others.

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