The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase the amount of available commercial spectrum. In doing so, it will support research and development that will produce innovative wireless technologies. The TIA also wants the FCC to embrace pro-competitive regulations that will drive wireless market competition, increase investment and innovation, and speed new wireless products to market.

In its comments to the FCC's inquiries into wireless technology innovation, investment, and market competition, the TIA made it clear that scarcity of spectrum for commercial use is among the most significant threats to wireless market innovation and investment. "Without increased spectrum designated for commercial use, there will be less incentive for companies to provide consumers cutting-edge wireless technologies and services," said Danielle Coffey, TIA Vice President for Government Affairs. "Furthermore, the FCC must continue to follow its path toward pro-competitive regulatory policies, which have resulted in and will continue to drive wireless innovation and investment."

TIA also urged the FCC to consider possible benefits from handset exclusivity to wireless market competition and avoid returning to failed spectrum cap regulations. According to Coffey, the TIA lauds the FCC's efforts to adopt policies that will make wireless device and service markets more competitive. Yet the association is not convinced that a ban on handset exclusivity agreements will hit the mark.

"While some parties clamor for a return to antiquated spectrum caps, which have proven ineffective in addressing competition concerns in individual markets, the FCC should acknowledge the competitive and public-interest benefits resulting from its existing spectrum screen process. Returning to a spectrum cap policy, instead of maintaining the existing wireless market evaluation on a case-by-case basis, will not enhance competition," Coffey continued.

Coffey concluded that the FCC should advocate for funding for the adoption of wireless broadband services and devices as a key component of enhancing wireless service and product competition. The TIA's comments are available on the FCC filings page at www.tiaonline.org.