The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have agreed on legislation authorizing and funding the reallocation of broadcaster spectrum for commercial wireless use and the deployment of a nationwide interoperable public-safety broadband network. The following statement should be attributed to Peter Davidson, Verizon senior vice president for federal government affairs:
"Upon passage of this legislation, Congress will set the stage for a new period of American innovation, investment and job creation. By bringing new wireless spectrum to market via incentive auctions, and laying the groundwork for our nation's interoperable wireless public-safety network, American consumers and citizens will be well-served.
"With the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, as well as wireless data growth, there is a critical need for additional spectrum for mobile broadband use. The FCC estimates that mobile-data demand will grow between 25 and 50 times current levels within five years. Spectrum auctions will ensure that much-needed spectrum is brought to market to meet consumer demand.
"The spectrum auctions also will unleash new investment and job growth. Over the past 15 years America's wireless industry has invested more than $300 billion to build out the world's best wireless networks. Verizon alone invested $9 billion in 2011 to deploy the world's first nationwide 4G LTE wireless network. Wireless providers employ more than a quarter million Americans; the industry as a whole is responsible for 2.4 million jobs, and it's estimated that more than 200,000 new jobs could be created within a year as consumers adopt 4G technologies.
"Finally, by creating an interoperable, nationwide broadband public-safety network, Congress is delivering on a commitment to give our first responders the tools to keep our fellow citizens safe.
"We thank Chairmen Rockefeller, Upton, Walden and Kerry, and Ranking Members Hutchison, Waxman, Eshoo and DeMint for their focus and dedication in putting this legislation in place. This was a bipartisan effort, with many advocates, including FCC Chairman Genachowski, and a number of consumer, business and policy organizations that highlighted the need for more spectrum. We encourage Congress to move quickly to pass this legislation."