Mobile devices have already spawned incredible innovation. A few years ago no one had even heard of an app, but this year worldwide mobile application store downloads are expected to reach 17.7 billion, with revenue projected to surpass $15.1 billion. Networks with more capacity will allow these innovators to think even bigger and deliver more creative and more powerful apps.
Under a voluntary auction system, broadcasters would be paid for surrendering the over-the-air spectrum they hold. Wireless broadband providers would have more access to the spectrum they need to provide their services and continue innovating. American consumers would get better and more reliable mobile broadband access. The government would raise $33 billion in revenue. It’s the kind of win-win situation that is exceedingly rare in Washington these days.
The U.S. government didn’t create a $1.5 trillion deficit overnight, and the super committee won’t be able to eliminate the deficit with one spending cut or one tax increase. It will take a series of smart actions to rebuild our fiscal security. Raising $33 billion in revenues by auctioning underused broadband spectrum would be a great start and show that Washington is serious about finding creative ways to get our economy back on track.
Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association and author of “The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream.”