Chmn. Wheeler Statement Before House E&C Subcommittee
March 22, 2016
Spectrum Frontiers – 5G
Just as bipartisan support helped enable the incentive auction, there is growing bipartisan interest in the next big thing in spectrum policy: 5G. With very fast speeds, scale to support billions of sensors, and reduced latency, 5G will allow us to realize the full potential of so many promising, yet nascent broadband-enabled breakthroughs. It won’t just improve existing commercial and government uses, but also applications still on the horizon, like Internet of Things and connected cars.
Fundamentally, we’re approaching 5G as we have with previous generations of wireless by adopting a flexible use policy and assuring that spectrum is available to be deployed when the private sector has arrived at the requisite technical standards and network architectures. This approach made us successful as global leaders in 4G LTE.
At this point, none of us knows exactly what 5G will be, but we can be certain that the spectrum requirements will be dynamic and ever-changing. Accordingly, our spectrum policy must be equally dynamic to address a wireless reality that is still evolving. We must continue to employ flexible use policies that encourage private-sector innovation and investment, while increasing our commitment to spectrum sharing, opening new bands for broadband, and establishing smart approaches to wireless infrastructure.