Former FCC official takes stance against FCC’s possible 4G LTE technology mandate

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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A former FCC official has opposed a potential technology mandate by the FCC for technology interoperability in the 4G LTE deployment by mobile operators Friday.

Fred Campbell, director of the Communications Liberty and Innovation Project — a new project by the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute — filed comments Friday opposing a potential technology mandate in the 700 MHz band of spectrum. The 700 MHz frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum is used by wireless providers for 4G LTE, the latest generation of wireless mobile Internet technology.

The FCC’s current move toward a proposed technology interoperability mandate in the 700 MHz range was initiated in March. Interoperability would enable the devices of smaller regional carriers to work on the networks of larger carriers. Opponents of the move, however, argue that an FCC regulation mandating device standards would slow down the high-paced tempo of innovation in the technology sector.

Campbell, former chief of the FCC’s Wireless Bureau, said in a blog post, “Since the early 1990s, the FCC had been making progress toward a more market-based approach to communications policy.”

“Over the last two years, however, it has looked more like a 1930s-style central planning agency than a 21st century expert,” said Campbell. “A surprise technology mandate in the 700 MHz band would bring it another step closer to its central planning past.”

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Josh Peterson