FCC kicks off mobile wireless Inquisition

San Francisco (CA) – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced an official Notice of Inquiry that seeks to examine competitive conditions in the mobile wireless marketplace.

“Competition is important for many reasons, including, of course, that it produces low prices and high quality for consumers. But competition is also the mother of invention, which makes it especially important in a fast-changing marketplace like communications,” explained FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

“We are at a pivotal moment in the history of the mobile industry – transitioning from a voice-centric world to a world of ubiquitous, mobile Internet access. This transition promises to increase the pace of innovation and investment, but only if we have an open and competitive marketplace that gives every great idea a chance to make its way to consumers so that the best products or services win.”

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps expressed similar sentiments.

“The increasing sophistication and complexity of new devices and applications have opened new worlds to millions of consumers. How exactly does the ‘openness’ of wireless networks and devices affect the pace of innovation?” asked Copps. “Aren’t open platforms and open access the kinds of models that best promote innovation? What can we learn from the Internet model, where openness has provided consumers a fantastic world of choice in applications and services? The freedom to choose devices and applications is, I believe, good for consumers and good for entrepreneurs, too.”

However, Copps emphasized that wireless technologies and services were not just “ends in themselves.”

“These are things that will be called on to help solve many of the critical challenges facing our country—improvements in health care through telemedicine and patient monitoring devices; energy conservation through ‘smart grids;’ education by bringing classrooms to eager learners wherever they may be; and public safety by enhancing the capabilities of our first responders, just to name a few. As we enable wireless technologies and services, we enable America to meet and master these many challenges,” added Copps.

It should be noted that the FCC has also confirmed plans to examine ways of “protecting and empowering” consumers in the communications marketplace. In addition, the Commission is expected to review the current state of wireless innovation and investment.

See also

Apple, AT&T deny Google Voice discrimination
FCC targets wireless industry in ’empowerment’ probe