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FCC Chairman Promotes Wireless Internet Initiatives

In a presentation to the Wireless Communications Association's 2004 convention in Washington D.C., FCC Chairman Michael Powell outlined the steps the FCC has taken and is taking to bring broadband to all Americans. He reminded attendees that in 1998, the FCC authorized two-way services in the 2.5 GHz MDS and ITFS spectrum and in 2001 added a mobile allocation to the band. "Now," he said, "it is time for new rules that will allow MDS and ITFS licensees to enjoy the complete flexibility available to licensees of other wireless services." He applauded WCA and other organization for working together to create a consensus plan on MDS/ITFS rebanding, which he said formed the foundation for the policy changes the FCC will propose.

Chairman Powell also commented on the FCC's success with broadband services using unlicensed spectrum, noting, "We have found that innovation multiplies when the participants are able to cooperatively introduce a number of new broadband services only lightly touched by regulation," as well as "our allocation of additional spectrum in the 5 GHz band and our recent inquiry in smart radio devices that could make use of unused broadcast television spectrum without creating interference. We also will continue to support ultrawideband technologies and look to new and emerging platforms such as broadband over power lines for solutions."

For additional information, refer to Chairman Powell's remarks at the Wireless Communications Association International.