Today, former Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Billy Tauzin (R-LA) touted the importance of permission-less innovation on unlicensed spectrum in an op-ed for The Hill. The former Chairmen of the House Energy and Commerce Committee raised concerns about calls for the FCC to “intervene and block” a LTE unlicensed technology, saying that would be “a grievous error.” They went on to say:
When we served together on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, even though we were on opposite sides of the aisle and differed on many issues, we agreed wholeheartedly that federal policy should not stifle innovation in wireless technology and should encourage competition and choice. Keeping a portion of the wireless spectrum unlicensed, and thus not subject to hands-on regulation, was a policy decision designed precisely to further these goals. […]
For these reasons, we strongly urge the FCC to take a hands-off approach to the introduction of LTE-U.
We believe this technology will be a huge plus for consumers and will not cause the harm its opponents suggest. The evidence thus far suggests that LTE-U and Wi-Fi play well together. […]
But the FCC need not take our word for it. Let LTE-U come onto the market and see the real world impact. If it works as its adopters suggest, we’ll all be better off for its introduction. If it doesn’t, the FCC can then step in and address whatever problems have emerged. […]
Rather than stifle innovation in the womb through unprecedented intervention in the unlicensed spectrum, the FCC should continue its longstanding policy and practice of letting competition and creativity work their magic.
Unlicensed spectrum is available for everyone – using any technology – and continues to be crucial to the evolution and growth of mobile communications. This successful framework has fueled the tech industry and empowered consumers with more choices in products and services. EVOLVE is working to preserve it so that LTE unlicensed and other technologies developed on unlicensed spectrum can thrive together.
You can read the full op-ed here.