New CTIA President & CEO Meredith Attwell Baker suggested a spectrum report card as a way to determine which government spectrum holders are “warehousing” spectrum and who’s putting spectrum to use.
Speaking with journalists Tuesday, Baker put most of the emphasis on freeing up more airwaves for mobile use.
“Our top priority is spectrum,” Baker said, who in April was appointed to CTIA's top job after former CEO Steve Largent announced his retirement.
The idea of a spectrum report card was one of the specific approaches she mentioned. But in general Baker said that in order to meet the President’s goal of 500 MHz freed up by 2020, there’s still much to do.
Baker was optimistic about the upcoming 600 MHz incentive auctions and confident the FCC could clear 120 MHz for auction instead of 84 MHz. She said it is CTIA’s job to educate broadcasters about the tools available for them during the transition.
But she admitted that 600 MHz is probably the last obvious low-band spectrum put up for auction and that CTIA is already looking at other bands for more incentive auctions.
Today’s push by CTIA for spectrum coordinates with the release of the Association’s annual survey. CTIA saw a 120 percent annual increase for total mobile traffic from 2012 to 2013 and Baker pointed out those findings fall in line with reports from Ericsson and Cisco, both projecting massive, rapid growth for mobile over the next few years.
After spectrum, Baker turned her attention to the on-going Net Neutrality debate.
“Preserving the openness of the Internet is non-negotiable,” Baker said.
But she insisted that any framework adopted by the FCC must maintain innovation up and down the wireless ecosystem, firmly shooting down reclassification for ISPs.
“Title II is not a viable option,” Baker said, adding that “antiquated rules” would stifle the wireless industry. “It’s the wrong path.”
Baker elaborated on how CTIA feels the FCC should oversee the wireless industry and said that “prescriptive regulation” and technology mandates will only inhibit innovation.
Baker’s comments come one day after CTIA, in response to a white paper released in May by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, asked congress to promote wireless industry competitiveness and seek "light touch" regulations by the FCC.