Halley: Biden’s Upcoming National Spectrum Strategy Must be Ambitious

Because of smart decisions, such as a pipeline to make spectrum available for commercial use and easing permitting policies, the U.S. is the global leader in wireless, says WIA President/CEO Patrick Halley. But he cautions that continuing that success is not guaranteed.

The country needs a predictable spectrum pipeline, which means identifying the specific bands that will be available over the next five to 10 years. “The forthcoming Biden Administration’s National Spectrum Strategy must be ambitious in laying out a path forward to meet the needs of American consumers and businesses over the medium and long term,” Halley says in a blog.  

He also emphasizes that Congress must restore the FCC’s spectrum auction authority.

The U.S. needs predictable, proportionate and transparent permitting policies, according to Halley. There’s been progress, he notes, especially from Congress and the FCC and the Commerce Department, but “much of this comes down to local implementation. While continuing to respect the role of local governments, it is critical that federal reforms over the past decade be maintained and strengthened and for newly empowered state broadband offices to continue the trend,” writes Halley.

Finally, stressing that America must maintain a pro-investment regulatory structure, Halley says there is no “Net Neutrality” crisis. While the FCC acknowledges there’s no evidence of ISPs engaging in discriminatory deployment practices, he says the agency “needs to hit the brakes” on plans to re-open the debate.

“We should not turn back the clock to the 20th Century and empower government to micromanage and second guess the private sector deployment strategies of companies in the broadband ecosystem. There is only one result of this kind of government overreach: unpredictability, chilled investment, and less deployment,” stresses Halley.

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

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