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CTIA Day 1: Interim FCC Chair Clyburn Addresses CTIA

Wed, 05/22/2013 - 10:15am
Ben Munson

 

(LAS VEGAS) - CTIA’s day one keynote session Tuesday opened with the mantra “Prepare for tomorrow. Get smarter. Think big.” 

That was CTIA CEO Steve Largent’s advice for all attendees this year. The tomorrow he saw was highlighted by the $800 billion increase in GDP that could come from the government making an additional 500 MHz of spectrum commercially available by 2020.

Largent elaborated on the move to one CTIA show—deemed Super Mobility Week and coming to Las Vegas Sept. 9, 2014—which he said he hoped would dominate the second half of the year, presumably leaving the first half to the likes of CES and Mobile World Congress.

Then he introduced acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn.

Clyburn is second-term commissioner, first nominated in 2009, who previously served 11 years on South Carolina’s Public Service Commission. Following the retirement of Chairman Julius Genachowski, Clyburn is filling in as newly appointed Chairman Tom Wheeler awaits confirmation.

She, like Largent, took time to offer condolences to the tornado victims in Oklahoma before briefly touching on her new, temporary role.

“They say the first rule of being an acting chair is not to take unnecessary risks,” she said, laughing at the fact that she got on a plane for Las Vegas the day after taking the job.

But her confidence as she discussed the FCC’s commitments to the wireless space showed she was treating her title with the energy, diligence and passion befitting a permanent appointee.

Clyburn touched on the FCC’s efforts to help alleviate bill shock, stating that 97 percent of U.S. wireless customers now get direct notices on their devices about their service.

She also touted the FCC’s efforts in promoting voluntary incentive auctions for spectrum while mentioning the keys to the FCC’s process including openness and transparency, expediency, timely processing of issues and continued focus on the consumer.

Clyburn marveled at the advancements in functionality brought to mobile devices.

“I often chuckle when we use the word telephone,” Clyburn said while describing the massive impact the mobile app market has had on innovation and progress.

Apps mean actual jobs, she said, saying the app development industry has added 500,000 to be specific. 

Clyburn talked about how mobile innovation is key to U.S competitiveness, particularly in remaining the LTE leader in the world.

Part of staying ahead on LTE and other next generation networks will require making more spectrum available, and Clyburn said over the last four years the commission has moved ahead with evaluating proposals and input for incentive auction and added that it’s on schedule for auction in 2014.

She also sang the praises of spectrum sharing, use of unlicensed spectrum or white spaces, among other items. 

She confirmed that the FCC continued to see competition as an essential driver of investment and prioritized protecting U.S. citizens who rely solely on cellular communications as well as some of the struggling regional carriers.

Her talk covered a number of initiatives the FCC, often in cooperation with CTIA, had in place and all of them came back to the goal of “improving the lives of the American public.”

 

 

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