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CCA: Business Data Reform Is Key to Internet of Things

Wireless carriers want the Obama Administration to make sure the FCC "moves quickly" on business data services reform, arguing it is one key to promoting the Internet of Things.

The Competitive Carriers Association, which represents mobile wireless carriers, says that the FCC's new approach to business data services, one strongly opposed by cable ISPs, as well as the spectrum auction, about which broadcasters have mixed feelings, are both key to the growth of the Internet of Things.

That came in comments to the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), which in April put out a request for comment looking for answers to "questions posed by the growth of the Internet of Things (IOT)." NTIA is the Obama Administration's principal telecom policy advisor.

CCA says the auction is important for the spectrum the FCC has reserved for nondominant carrier bidders in the forward portion of the auction and because it is in sufficiently bite-sized chunks to be attainable.

"[T]he Incentive Auction represents a unique opportunity for carriers to claim 'greenfield' spectrum with ideal propagation capabilities," it told NTIA. "Without smaller geographic license sizes and reserved spectrum to prevent excessive spectrum aggregation by the largest carriers, it would be difficult for many carriers to compete with the vast resources of the two largest carriers."

It recommends taking the same approach—spectrum reserves, smaller licenses—in any future auctions.

As to the FCC's proposal, which could mean price regulations on all players in the business data services (formerly called "special access" market), "access to affordable backhaul is a critical and substantial input into the cost structure of any wireless carrier," it says, and the FCC's reform of a "broken" system, "presents an opportunity to provide competitive carriers the reasonably priced competitive market for backhaul needed for mobile and fixed wireless connections to perform optimally."

CCA advises NTIA to provide its "insight" to those and other relevant FCC proceedings, suggesting the proceedings will help shape the growth and determine the effectiveness of IoT applications.

It also suggests NTIA to "ensure the Commission is moving quickly to reach a resolution of the business data services reform."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.