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TIA Applauds Success of FCC AWS-3 Spectrum Auction
Arlington, Va. (Dec. 4, 2014) – The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the leading association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech communications networks, today applauded the progress of the FCC's ongoing AWS-3 spectrum auction.
TIA CEO Scott Belcher released the following statement:
"The FCC's ongoing AWS-3 spectrum auction is an historic event for several reasons. First, gross bids have passed the $40 billion mark, doubling or even tripling most analyst estimates, and exceeding any other spectrum auction in U.S. history. The level of bidding demonstrates that the spectrum crunch is very real, and that more work is needed to keep pace with exploding consumer demand for mobile broadband.
"The bidding also highlights the need for the FCC to conduct a successful voluntary incentive auction for broadcast spectrum in 2016. To be successful, the FCC will need to encourage maximum participation from broadcasters in the top 10 markets where demand is greatest.
"It is important to note that some of the revenues from this auction will be directed toward essential technology improvements for public safety. The AWS-3 auction proceeds will fully fund the $7 billion authorized by Congress towards the construction of FirstNet, the new national public safety broadband network, as well as providing $115 million for Next-Generation 911 implementation grants. This funding represents an important step towards enabling interoperable communications among first responders, as well as allowing public safety services to keep pace with modern communications technologies.
"In addition, $300 million will now be made available to conduct public safety communications research. Communications-related research and development funding – and spectrum research in particular – is the "seed corn" that will enable future auctions to be successful. To ensure that scarce spectrum resources are used more effectively and that the Treasury will continue to benefit from spectrum auction revenues, we urge Congress to ensure that a portion of proceeds from all future auctions be devoted to R&D.
"We congratulate all stakeholders, including Congress, the FCC, NTIA, and DoD for their work in making the AWS-3 auction a smashing success. A portion of the revenue from the auction will pay for relocation of DoD systems in the band, and DoD's cooperation in relocating their systems was absolutely instrumental in making this valuable spectrum available for commercial use.
"Finally, while all eyes are on the auction revenues, the real benefit of this spectrum will be in putting it to work for the American public. The economic activity that will be enabled by this spectrum will be many times the value of the auction revenues. That is ultimately the lasting value of this auction."
The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) represents manufacturers and suppliers of global communications networks through standards development, policy and advocacy, business opportunities, market intelligence, and events and networking. TIA enhances the business environment for broadband, mobile wireless, information technology, networks, cable, satellite and unified communications. Members' products and services empower communications in every industry and market, including healthcare, education, security, public safety, transportation, government, the military, the environment, and entertainment. Visit tiaonline.org for more details.
TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and is a proud sponsor of ANSI’s Standards Boost Business campaign. Visit www.standardsboostbusiness.org for details.