The Backbone of Wireless: Policy Point


Lock your front door or water your plants with a touch of a button from miles away? Used to be that was just stuff they did on the Jetson’s
or in the movies, but not anymore. Today, it’s the reality of the connected home.
Often called the Internet of Things, connecting everyday objects from kitchen appliances
to security systems through broadband to their mobile devices allows consumers to track, manage and
communicate with these items anywhere anytime. Many consumers are connecting
appliances such as thermostats to their wireless devices. They can adjust the temperature from anywhere,
saving money on heating and cooling costs while away and then adjusting the thermostat for when they plan to be back home. A “smart” house allows you to control a number of items, reducing your electricity use, positively impacting the environment and your wallet. Few know the technology and engineering beyond the devices that power the Internet of Things. But behind all of that great connectivity is spectrum. It’s made up of airwaves that we can’t see, but they’re the fuel for mobile, television and radio broadcasts, and government communications among others. Unfortunately, there’s only so much spectrum.
That’s why as consumers and businesses increasingly rely on mobile technology, it’s vital that spectrum is put to its highest and best use. Even though the U.S. is the world’s most efficient
commercial spectrum user, the current rate of industry growth and consumer demand for wireless broadband will quickly outpace carriers’ network capacity.
That’s why CTIA and our member companies are working with the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Department of Defense, Congress and others to move inefficient users, so that this valuable spectrum
can be sold at auction for commercial use An auction will raise billions of dollars for the federal government, which is certainly a much needed boost without costing
American taxpayers a penny. The wireless industry is unique for wanting to pay
for this valuable resource, which will in turn eventually help other industries such as health care, transportation, utilities and
education by being better able to use wireless in their services. There’s not much agreement in Washington these days.
But the wireless industry’s need for more spectrum unites government agencies, elected officials from urban and rural districts and different political parties and private companies. In the past,
spectrum auctions have proven to be a win win win for everyone and in this case, history will assuredly repeat itself. To learn more about the wireless industry’s need for spectrum and the significant impact more spectrum will have on the U.S. economy, visit ctia.org.

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