Friday, May 17
In a speech before the Media Institute yesterday, Craig Silliman, Senior Voce President of Public Policy for Verizon, argued that outdated regulations risk holding back innovation and investment. It’s a similar argument other telecom providers have made recently. As Silliman told the crowd:
[W]e need to ensure is that we do not let an increasingly outdated regulatory regime for the Internet ecosystem slow innovation and investment. The 1996 Telecom Act succeeded in what it was designed to achieve, but almost two decades later it is leaving the FCC struggling to shoehorn Internet-era technologies into phone-era regulations. I am not suggesting that the answer is to abolish all regulation. But I am suggesting that we need a 21st century policy framework that is designed for 21st century technologies and marketplaces, not 19th century ones.
We need to start by asking the right questions. It has been suggested that a key question for the next FCC chairman will be how to keep the FCC relevant in the Internet era. I believe that is the wrong question. I recognize, of course, that tactical battles to secure budgets and resources are part of any organization or entity, including the federal government. But a strategic view of policymaking starts by asking what objective we are trying to achieve, and then asking whether regulation is needed, why it is needed, and who is best placed to administer it.
The full speech is worth checking out.
Thursday, April 25
In a must-read opinion piece for the National Journal, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai makes the case that America should be making a big push to transition to all IP-based networks:
America is in the midst of a technological revolution, what some call the IP Transition (“IP” stands for the Internet Protocol, which is the technical foundation for all these changes). IP-based networks are different from the copper-based networks of yesteryear in a fundamental way: They were not designed for voice service alone. Instead, IP-based technologies break down every kind of communication (voice, video, e-mail and more) into digital bits and transport those bits more efficiently and cheaply than ever before.
Despite these vast changes in the communications marketplace, the Federal Communications Commission hasn’t caught up. We still view the world as if consumers were at Ma Bell’s mercy, relying on copper lines to get basic voice service. As a result, we have a lot of obsolete rules on our books. (Just two months ago, the FCC finally repealed a rule first adopted by its Telegraph Division during the Great Depression!) These old rules aren’t just harmlessly yellowing with age. They are affirmatively discouraging companies from investing in next-generation networks.
You really should read the whole thing at the National Journal.
Wednesday, April 24
Via Brendan Sasso of The Hill, suggestions for a new FCC Chairman are making their way to the White House:
A coalition of conservative groups is urging President Obama to pick a new Federal Communications Commission chairman who will take a light touch with new regulations.
“We need regulators who can resist the frequent urge to ‘do something’ about problems that are rapidly mooted by technological change anyway. Often, government’s best response is to do nothing,” the conservative groups wrote on Tuesday in the letter to Obama and Senate leaders.
President Obama not only has to name a replacement for Chairman Julius Genachowski, but one for Republican Commission Robert McDowell as well.
Monday, April 15
In an op-ed for the Daily Yonder, Jess Peterson of the US Cattlemen’s Association (which is one of our Members) argues that bringing better broadband to rural areas will take upgraded regulations:
The US Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) policy on broadband is simple: USCA wants to encourage policymakers to make policy that provides the regulatory certainty that will encourage the substantial private sector investment that will bring more, better, and faster broadband to rural America. Right now, that means encouraging a rapid and smooth transition from the old voice-centric networks to robust IP-based networks and services.
Until regulations are updated to account for the IP transition, certain incumbent telephone network operators will continue to have to support two networks — the slow, legacy copper-based telephone network and the new, faster and more capable IP-based network. The legacy network is not only antiquated but is expensive to maintain and becoming even more expensive as more consumers leave their traditional wireline phone service and switch to IP-based solutions, such as VoIP or LTE mobile phone service.
Read the whole thing at Daily Yonder.
Thursday, April 11
At the Washington Post, Cecilia Kang sat down with Phil Weiser, President Obama’s former senior advisor on technology and innovation. The topic: Challenges facing the FCC moving forward. The entire interview is worth checking out, but here’s an exchange on the IP Transition:
What is the role of the FCC in the phone-to-broadband transition?
All current policy is built on the use of legacy technology and thus the transition away from it is major challenge for the FCC. Rather than necessarily attempt to simply transfer all legacy policy into the IP work, the FCC will need to ask ‘What policy regimes and policy goals are important?’ Consider, for example, the issue of access to video programming by the hearing impaired: what approach closed captioning should apply to Internet-delivered TV programs? Similarly, there are questions about how to provide next generation 911 access in an IP world. Another big issue will be whether and how to oversee interconnection arrangements. In short, there are big opportunities and challenges because we don’t have to do things in the way we have done them so far.
This is a guest post from Neal Neuberger, President of Health Tech Strategies, LLC, a Virginia-based consulting firm focused on the public and private sector policy environment with regard to research, development and implementation of emerging health care technologies. — IIA
Health care has been in the news a lot lately and rightly so. We are in the midst of a health care revolution, and actions taken during this period of transformation will have tremendous impact in the years and decades to come.
Three years ago in March, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. This revolutionary legislation overhauled the U.S. health care system and has already had far-reaching effects. However, the ACA is only one part of the transformation of health care in our country. In recent years, the intersection of health care and technology, particularly mobile technologies, has resulted in myriad new health care tools, which are already making a difference in how quality health care is accessed and delivered. Now, rural residents can receive a remote consultation from a specialist located across the country; patients with chronic conditions can receive care at home or while on the go with a wireless device; and people at any level of health can use mobile apps to monitor nutrition, wellness, or fitness.
Advancements in mHealth and telemedicine have transformed health care into a more accessible, patient-centered, convenient model that benefits individuals and families. And these advancements have also affected the entire health care community. Medical personnel—including doctors, nurses, and first responders—increasingly use these innovations to access and transmit health records, images, and information at incredible speeds, resulting in quicker diagnoses, effective and new treatments, and better outcomes. More and more, hospitals and clinics are turning to innovative technologies and methods to expand access to care and to deliver that care in convenient, cost-effective ways. These innovations are already saving lives and improving health care, and tomorrow’s technologies will no doubt build on this progress.
Or maybe not. Just a few weeks ago, members of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology discussed a growing segment of the mobile technology market—mobile health care apps—and the possibility of taxing these apps and devices. Doing so could slow or stymie the incredible growth of this mobile health care technology (5% of smartphone users downloading an app to track or manage their health, according to a September 2012 Pew study). Don’t get me wrong: Government action is indeed needed to extend the progress that has been made in mobile health technologies; however, modern technologies require modern regulations that encourage both private sector investment and continued innovations.
Modern regulations are necessary for all modern technologies, not just health care-related apps and devices. That’s because it isn’t just wireless technology tools that are evolving: Americans are increasingly adopting wireline IP-enabled services, which deliver faster speeds and allow seamless communication between a variety of wireless and wired devices and platforms. And the infrastructure to support this array of wired and wireline services is transforming too. Old copper networks are being replaced by high-speed Internet Protocol (IP) networks that support a wider array of devices and data, with virtually limitless applications for improving our lives. These networks, combined with wireline and wireless IP-enabled services, offer greater capabilities and can also spur high-tech developments. This modern, robust infrastructure will enable continued advancements in health care technology, in addition to more possibilities and opportunities for every aspect of modern life.
However, like innovative health care technologies, the changeover to all IP networks is, to a certain extent, at the mercy of regulators. Smart, light-touch regulation will hasten this needed transition, but the application of outdated regulations designed for 20th century telephonic technologies could stall progress. This transition has the potential to improve and enrich our lives and our communities. It can expand and enhance the resources available to people, from education and health care resources to social and professional opportunities. I, for one, hope the government is smart about it. Smart action will help us and our communications networks to stay hale and healthy.
Wednesday, April 03
Our own Bruce Mehlman has an opinion piece in The Street today examining the current state of telecom policy and how outdated regulations are holding a vibrant industry back. Here’s a taste:
As with government, the ability of businesses to invest is not unlimited. When demanding investment in redundant copper networks to preserve the status quo for an ever-shrinking minority of consumers, policy makers directly rob investment from faster broadband networks that serve the ever-growing majority of consumers. That’s the wrong choice.
Today’s broadband marketplace is hyper-competitive, rapidly innovating and most enabled by less regulation and a lighter regulatory approach to advance the public interest and best serve consumers. It’s clear that outmoded telecommunications regulations designed in the pre-broadband, pre-smart phone era no longer advance America’s future.
You can read the full op-ed at The Street.
Monday, April 01
Over at The Hill, Brendan Sasso warns President Obama is headed into a “political minefield” as he mulls a successor to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski:
It’s an important choice for Obama, as the next chairman will face difficult decisions over how to provide enough airwaves for mobile devices, preserve the openness of the Internet and promote competition.
Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist and fundraiser for Obama, was considered the clear favorite for the job just last week. But then a coalition of public interest groups sent a letter to the president bashing him, and 37 senators signed a letter supporting an alternative pick: FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.
“Wheeler is still the front runner, but it isn’t as secure as it was a week or two ago,” another industry watcher said.
Monday, March 25
Last Friday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced he would be stepping down from the Commission. Today, The Hill‘s Brendan Sasso highlights what could be a major challenge for Genachowski’s successor:
The next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could face a high-stakes and politically explosive decision.
If a federal court strikes down the commission’s net neutrality rules, the next chairman will have to decide whether and how to try to reinstate them.
The next chairman’s response to a negative court ruling could spark a vicious fight with congressional Republicans on one hand, or leave the agency almost powerless to regulate modern technologies on the other.
Sasso goes on to report that the outgoing Chairman believes the FCC’s net neutrality rules will stand:
In an interview on Friday, Genachowski said he is confident that the commission will defeat Verizon’s challenge, noting that the same court recently sided with the FCC over data-roaming regulations.
“I think that we won the debate on whether to have an open Internet and whether the government has an appropriate role,” Genachowski said, adding that he believes the regulations have spurred innovation and investment. He declined to comment about the potential for reclassification.
Of course, Genachowski wasn’t the only member of the FCC to announce he was leaving. Commissioner Robert McDowell also announced his departure last week, and in an interview with Jon Brodkin of Ars Technica, he took a parting shot at the Commission’s net neutrality work:
First of all, I’ve been a strong advocate for a free and open Internet. What I opposed really focused on, first of all, there is no market failure that needed to be addressed. Second, the FCC did not have the statutory authority to do what it did. Third, if there had been a problem there were laws already on the books that would have addressed the problem.
There wasn’t a problem before the rules and there’s not a problem with any danger of a closed Internet in this country after the rules. For those who think the rules have preserved an open Internet, that’s sort of like a rooster taking credit for the sunrise.
Wednesday, March 20
By every measure, the Internet is one of the most important creations in human history. Key to the Internet’s success has been restraint when it comes to government control, both in the way that content is distributed and the content itself. But some fail to connect these dots and are calling for increased government regulation of the networks that power the Internet — including turning them into a national public utility. Susan Crawford, visiting professor at Harvard Law School, for example, has released a new book Captive Audience. As explained by Fred Campbell of CLIP in an op-ed for RedState, “the book declares the United States is suffering from broadband inequality because no ‘privately provided wired Internet access product . . . can compete with cable.’ Its proposed solution to this alleged monopoly is government ownership and control of Internet infrastructure as a public utility.”
While I remain a fan of Susan’s intelligence and passion, one need only look at the struggling European telco market to see how aggressive government interventions have backfired, with outdated networks and ailing market players. In his op-ed, Campbell draws a parallel between the Internet and the printing press, which so revolutionized communication that it brought down tyranny and upended entire governments. In 1662, the Parliament of England passed the Licensing of the Press Act, which was aimed at “preventing the frequent Abuses in printing seditious treasonable and unlicensed Bookes and Pamphlets and for regulating of Printing and Printing Presses.” Under the Act, people were required to hold a license to own a printing press, and all published work needed approval by the Church or government authorities before it was printed, among other limitations.
The printing press was the Internet of its age, a true revolution in communication democratizing speech and expression. This is what made it so dangerous to authority and why the Press Act of 1662 lasted for eleven long years. It’s also why our founding fathers explicitly kept new forms of communications technology free from government control. Though his analogy is a bit of a stretch, given Crawford’s steadfast support for free speech and opposition to censorship of any kind, Campbell has a point when declaring “…history shows there is something to fear in Captive Audience, but it is not the cable monopoly bogeyman. It is the captive audience we would become if the modern means of mass communications were owned and controlled by the government.”
The easiest way to stifle free expression is to put government in charge of how that speech gets transmitted. And while free expression is an absolute public right, it is not a public utility. Gate keepers can close the gates they control just as easily as they open them, and utilities are just a switch away from being shut off.
Tuesday, March 19
To coincide with the kick-off of March Madness — which is one of the most online-watched sports events in America — we’ve assembled the below timeline, which shows the evolution of online viewership of the Tournament. As you can see, the timeline begins in 1996 with a simple web page — the same year Congress passed a landmark Telecom Act that referenced the Internet just once.
Timeline: Evolution of March Madness Consumption
1996: The NCAA creates the first online computer page for the Final Four.
2003: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports, and the NCAA first partner to produce NCAA March Madness on Demand, the official online platform of the tournament offering basketball live feeds, as well as on demand video streaming.
2005: CBS begins a two-year deal with CSTV.com for exclusive Internet video streaming rights for out-of-market game coverage for the first 58 games of the championship.
2006: March Madness on Demand sees 19 million video streams and 5 million visits.
2007: Due to 2006 traffic, CBS Sportsline doubles its bandwidth capacity for March Madness on Demand, which offers free live Internet streams of each game of the first three rounds of the championship.
2008: CBSSports.com and March Madness on Demand launch a developer platform that allows more than 200 websites to carry live video of the championship online, including sites such as ESPN.com, Yahoo, SI.com, YouTube and Facebook. CBS allows users to watch all 63 games that it telecasts during the tournament for the first time, and sees the total number of unique visitors from first-round games through the regional championship games grow from 1.75 million to 4.33 million.
2011: Akamai’s global network is used to provide live and on-demand streaming video across broadband and mobile applications. Akamai delivers live games and on demand content to more than 1.9 million unique visitors per day on broadband sites and more than 680,000 daily visitors to mobile applications. By the event’s end, there is a 63 percent increase in total visits across the 2011 NCAA March Madness on Demand broadband and mobile products, and a 17 percent increase in online video consumption throughout the tournament compared to the previous year. This year, for the first time, live streaming video of every game of the tournament is available online.
2012: The Android phone is added as a viewing platform for NCAA March Madness Live (formerly March Madness on Demand). NCAA.com/March Madness Live, CBSSports.com, SI.com, TruTV.com, TNT.tv and TBS.com deliver over 220 million visits across online and mobile platforms. This marks an 11% increase from 198 million in 2011.
What’s in store for 2013? The timeline indicates that consumer demand to watch March Madness online, particularly via mobile devices, will likely continue increasing exponentially, so we’re crossing our fingers for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) action to accelerate the Internet Protocol (IP) Transition and competitive, open spectrum auctions that will quickly bring more spectrum to market. A move to next-generation networks and sound federal spectrum policy will be wins for consumers and the economy.
Friday, March 15
Earlier this week, Robert E. Litan penned an editorial for Bloomberg in advance of his new report (co-authored by Afzal Bari) titled “Faster Broadband: Policies and options for spurring expanded access to the next generation of Internet speeds.” Both in his opinion piece and study, Litan argues that when comes to achieve faster broadband, the FCC should be focusing more on spurring competition than on regulations. From the Bloomberg piece:
We are encouraged that the FCC seems intent on proceeding with its spectrum auctions in 2014 (though we wish this had happened earlier), but are less optimistic that the commission will reverse its policies of the past four years that are inconsistent with the deregulatory agenda that would really unleash competition in the broadband market and accelerate the race for faster broadband speeds.
In Litan and Bari’s study, they dig a lot deeper — specifically when it comes to steps the FCC can take:
One policy that would surely help is speeding up the auctions of wireless spectrum. Other deregulatory measures, aimed primarily at reducing the costs and increasing incentives for wireline broadband providers to build fast broadband networks, also are available:
• Removing legacy regulations on telecom carriers designed for outdated copper networks that discourage investments in modern broadband networks.
• Allowing broadband providers to charge for premium delivery services (just as on-line retailers do for more rapid shipping, and airlines and railroads do for first-class seating).
• Adopting the current case-by-case approach to resolving complaints of discrimination against vertically integrated cable video providers for resolving similar disputes in the broadband arena.
• Eliminating duplicative merger authority by making the FCC an advisor on telecom mergers, with ultimate authority resting with the Justice Department, where it belongs.
• Eliminating the FCC’s ability to condition spectrum purchases on the identity, business plans or spectrum holdings of the bidder, practices which inhibit wireless competition to wireline broadband providers.
You can download of a PDF of Litan and Bari’s study here.
Wednesday, February 27
Reporting from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the AP’s Peter Svensson looks at the coming machine-to-machine revolution:
Companies are promising that machine-to-machine, or M2M, technology will deliver all manner of services, from the prosaic to the world-changing. At U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc.‘s booth here at the show, there’s a coffeepot that can be ordered to start brewing from a tablet computer, or an Internet-connected alarm clock. A former president of Costa Rica is also at the show, talking about how M2M can save massive amounts of greenhouse gases by making energy use more efficient — enough to bring mankind halfway to the goal of halting global warming.
The M2M phenomenon is part of the larger drive to create an “Internet of Things” — a global network that not only links computers, tablets and phones but that connects everything from bikes to washing machines to thermostats. Machina Research, a British firm, believes there will be 12.5 billion “smart” connected devices, excluding phones, PCs and tablets, in the world in 2020, up from 1.3 billion today.
Driving the M2M movement will be advanced networks — both wired and wireless — able to power the constant flow of data. To get there will take investment. As my fellow Chair Jamal Simmons recently wrote in Fierce Telecom:
[F]or consumers, businesses and our nation as a whole to benefit from the opportunities enabled by a high-speed, all IP-based broadband network, the entire ecosystem must invest.
Yesterday, the Copyright Alert System (also known as “six strikes”) went into effect, which is aimed at curbing illegal sharing of content online. The new rules give ISPs the power to slow — but not outright sever — the Internet connections of repeat offenders. But as Alex Wilhelm of The Next Web reports, at least one provider won’t be slowing Internet speeds:
AT&T… is taking a different route, and will not slow customer Internet connections. Instead, through its later ‘strikes’ the company will require users “to take an extra step to review materials on an online portal that will educate them on the distribution of copyrighted content online,” according to a statement provided to TNW by AT&T.
Wilhelm goes on to note that Verizon plans to slow speeds for infringers to 256Kbps. Comcast, the nation’s largest Internet provider, has yet to announce its plans.
Thursday, February 14
Last week, FCC commissioner Ajit Pai delivered a speech at the Media Institute Luncheon in Washington, D.C. A major focus of the Commissioner’s speech, Broadcast Engineering’s Phil Kurz reports, was the role the FCC should take when it comes to regulations:
The FCC commissioner said agency rules should reflect today’s technological and competitive landscape to accommodate the transformational impact of the Internet. Even small statutory changes could have a positive effect.
One example, according to Pai, is if the commission’s forbearance authority could be extended to Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPD) and cable services. Forbearance has allowed the agency to do away with outdated regulations impacting telecommunications carriers, which has “encouraged infrastructure investment and broadband deployment,” he said.
“Technology is turning voice and video into applications transmitted over the Internet,” said Pai. “So it seems to me that the FCC should have the same authority to relieve MVPDs from obsolete rules as we currently have for carriers.”
Kurz’s full article, “FCC should ‘show humility,” allow market to work, says Pai” is worth checking out.
Monday, February 11
To mark the 17th anniversary of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, our Honorary Chairman Rick Boucher — who was chair of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet at the time — has penned an op-ed for Roll Call. In it, he reflects on the importance of the Act, and makes the case that regulations are in dire need of modernization in order to keep up with today’s technology. Here’s a taste:
Seventeen years after the 1996 Telecommunications Act was signed into law, we find ourselves at another major inflection point. The IP transition is already under way, driven by technological advances and consumer preferences. FCC Chairman Genachowski has taken farsighted steps to create a process for addressing the policy questions that transition brings, and one of the giants of the industry has made helpful suggestions for a national dialogue through a single, focused proceeding for clarity and meaningful participation by all interested parties.
It is my hope that regulators can, once again, come to a consensus on how best to regulate fairly. Only with a level playing field will competition thrive and more investment in America’s broadband infrastructure increase. Let the conversation begin.
You can check out Boucher’s full op-ed at Roll Call.
Friday, February 08
Today marks the 17th anniversary of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. We at IIA have a strong connection to the Act, as our own Honorary Chairman Rick Boucher, then chair of the subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, was a player in drafting the Act and getting it passed.
Interestingly — though the Act is often tied to the growth of the Internet here in America — the word “Internet” was only mentioned in one section (and ironically, that section was later ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court). Instead, the main focus of the Act was to encourage new competition in local and long-distance telephone markets, as well as television. And since its signing into law, it’s not an understatement to say there has been a major disruption in the both the telephone and television markets. The rise of the Internet — spurred by the life-changing benefits of broadband that have led to widespread availability and adoption of the technology — has changed the way we work, entertain ourselves, and communicate with each another (although our nation still has a way to go until everyone is connected).
Seventeen years is a long time, and when it comes to the speed of the evolution of technology, 1996 might as well be the Dark Ages. As the telecommunications industry makes the seismic shift to all IP-networks — a transition that will usher in the full power of the Internet Age — it’s worth appreciating how important the 1996 Telecommunication Act was at the time of its adoption. It’s also important to recognize just how much the market has changed around market players subject to certain regulations in the Act.
If we’re going to fully embrace the power of current and future technology, the 1996 Telecommunications Act may not be still be relevant in many cases. Fortunately, provisions that would allow the Federal Communications Commission to forbear from applying certain regulations were included in Section 10 of the legislation (real-life forbearance example: the decision to not regulate investment and deployment of fiber-based facilities in the network). IIA hopes that the Commission will take note—we’ve come a long way but still need to catch up to today.
To see just how much things have changed since 1996, check out our “Then & Now” feature.
Wednesday, February 06
Our Co-Chairman Jamal Simmons has penned an op-ed for The Root on the coming transition to all-IP networks and what its effect will be on America’s still lingering digital divide. Here’s a taste:
Putting smart policies in place to promote the IP transition would help address these concerns. With the right incentives, incumbent telephone companies could invest in and build faster, more robust and more dynamic IP-based networks that would provide residential customers with additional competitive choices for video, high-speed broadband and voice services. Accelerating the IP transition would also have the positive effect of shifting the cost burden of maintaining antiquated, legacy voice networks away from voice subscribers in communities of color, who would disproportionately have to pay the costs of maintaining outdated networks without the benefit of access to new services provided by next-generation networks being built at the same time.
You can read the full op-ed over at The Root.
Wednesday, January 16
Our Honorary Chairman Rick Boucher and Co-Chairman Bruce Mehlman have penned an op-ed for Politico on the need to free telecommunications companies from outdated regulations. Here’s a taste:
One of the most egregious monopoly-era regulations still on the books is the requirement that legacy carriers continue maintaining legacy copper networks and leasing them to their competitors at below-market rates. While these rules made sense at the dawn of the Internet era when little, if any, competition existed and telephone networks had been built via government-guaranteed rate-of-return exclusivity, they have long been overtaken by events. Today these regulations from the past century result in a misallocation of resources. And they perpetuate free-rider business models that diminish investment in networks and hinder innovation in telecom services.
You can read the full op-ed over at Politico.
Friday, January 11
Read through the deluge of CES coverage this week, and those two words keep appearing. From silverware that paces how you eat, to an iPad friendly potty trainer for tech-centric (and no doubt frustrated) parents, it’s not just computers and smartphones that rely on a connection to the Internet.
Even car makers are increasingly getting in on the act by reaching out to app developers, as Ryan Nakashima of the AP points out:
At the International CES show, General Motors and Ford launched programs that will open their designs to developers, inviting them to create software applications for future car models. It’s a relatively new strategy for car makers, but one that many gadget manufacturers employ, including Apple, which did it for the original iPhone in 2007.
The programs free the automakers from having to keep pace with new technologies by tying the functionality of their cars’ internal systems to advances in smartphones.
While connected devices certainly aren’t new, the emphasis on mobility is a fairly recent development. Increasingly robust wireless networks — from 3G to 4G and now LTE — are driving unprecedented innovation in the mobile space, which makes the other buzzwords from this year’s CES, IP-based networks, all the more important. The U.S. already has more connected devices than people, and as innovation continues to flourish, we’re going to need networks that can keep up with the ever-present flood of data.
Getting to those networks will take investment. The transition from the networks of old to the next generation and beyond is not going to be cheap, and in order for network providers to make the transition as quickly as consumers will demand, the government will need to work with the industry — not just to keep regulatory roadblocks at a minimum, but to ensure everyone is able to participate in our always-connected future.
The days when nearly everything around us is online are coming. Now is the time to get ready.