Tech Law Journal

Capitol Dome
News, records, and analysis of legislation, litigation, and regulation affecting the computer, internet, communications and information technology sectors

TLJ Links: Home | Calendar | Subscribe | Back Issues | Reference
Other: Thomas | USC | CFR | FR | FCC | USPTO | CO | NTIA | EDGAR
Statement by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS).
Re: S 696 IS, the Third Generation Wireless Internet Act.
Date: April 4, 2001.
Source: Congressional Record.

Mr. President, today I rise to reintroduce the Third Generation Wireless Internet Act. This legislation, which I first introduced in the 106th Congress, is needed today more then ever. The Act requires The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to lift the current cap on the amount of spectrum any one company may be licensed to use in a market.

Today, over 104 million Americans are benefitting from the products and services being offered by our nation's wireless industry. The public has benefited from stiff competition among industry participants as 244.8 million Americans can choose between three and eight wireless service providers, with 181.7 million of them able to choose from at least five service providers. The result of this competition has been a fifty percent decrease in wireless rates between 1988 and 2000, while the total number of minutes used has increased forty-two percent over that same period.

Impressive as is the development of the wireless marketplace, our nation's wireless industry is fast approaching a crossroads where it will transition from voice and text messaging services to a marriage of wireless mobility with the power of the Internet and broadband Internet access: the ability to deliver voice, video, and data simultaneously over one wireless device. This transition will be made possible by the deployment of third generation technology, commonly referred to as ``3G,'' which combines wireless mobility with transmission speeds and capacity resembling that of the broadband pipes being laid primarily in urban markets by wireline companies.

Congress, the FCC, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration continue to work to identify sufficient spectrum resources for a timely 3G deployment. The Third Generation Wireless Internet Act will ensure that companies currently at the limits of the spectrum they are permitted to use under FCC regulations will still be able to participate in 3G deployment once the spectrum is identified.

Just as Internet access, especially broadband Internet access, promises to be a great equalizer across socio-economic lines, 3G promises to be a great equalizer between those consumers with access to broadband and those without. As Congress continues to look for ways to close the digital divide as it relates to broadband, wireless technology can play a key role in ensuring that all Americans have access to broadband irrespective of their geographic location. It is incumbent upon Congress to recognize and act upon the potential of 3G to close the gap between urban and rural broadband access, and the Third Generation Wireless Internet Act does just that.

Subscriptions | FAQ | Notices & Disclaimers | Privacy Policy
Copyright 1998-2008 David Carney, dba Tech Law Journal. All rights reserved.
Phone: 202-364-8882. P.O. Box 4851, Washington DC, 20008.