QUALCOMM Pitches Mobile Solution To Rural Broadband

QUALCOMM tells the FCC that whatever grand plan it comes up with getting broadband to rural areas, it's "central goal" should be insuring that 100% of Americans have access to at least one mobile broadband network.

That hardly comes as a surprise given that Qualcomm is in the national mobile broadband delivery business, and as quickly as possible. QUALCOMM has been pushing a device it calls Kayak , which navigates the digital data stream somewhere between a PC and a broadband enabled phone to provide low cost, low-power Internet connectivity.

The FCC actually has two broadband plans to come up with, the rural strategy in concert with the Department of Agriculture per instructions in last year's farm bill, and a nationwide plan in concert with the Ag Department and the National Telecommunications & Information Administrations per the economic stimulus bill.

In a filing at the FCC on the rural plan--the FCC put that out for comment two weeks ago setting today (March 25) as the deadline (http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-09-561A1.pdf)--QUALCOMM said that funding from the stimulus package should be used to achieve that 100% mobile broadband access goal.

"[M]obile broadband services lie at the crux of extending these opportunities to all residents of Rural America," the company argued. "The laws of economics cannot be repealed-it is far more cost effective to provide mobile broadband in rural areas, as compared to any fixed or wireline solution."

QUALCOMM argues that mobile's benefits are that it is available, there is equipment in the market and that the spectrum for it has been auctioned and licensed.

John Eggerton

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.