Biden-Harris needs to go all-in to mobile broadband to meet its fairness and connectivity goals

Biden-Harris Americans Jobs Plans has several commendable goals for broadband, including 100% coverage, more affordability for economically disadvantaged people, and intensifying competition. These goals are best achieved by technology in which politicians compete for their benefits rather than choosing a winner. It’s a shame that the Biden-Harris plan will give you a discount, even if it doesn’t dismiss the role of mobile broadband in achieving these goals. Americans have embraced mobile broadband because of its ease of use. Compared to other networks, mobile broadband is economical and physical, and you can easily compare 5G and Wi-Fi. This article details the benefits of getting a broadband policy right and that the White House is never too late to update its plans with facts.


The Biden-Harris program correctly recognizes the importance of bringing underprivileged people and communities online. When it comes to deploying networks in rural or remote areas such as tribal lands, it is much cheaper to send in the air than to send over vast and rugged terrain. Cellular signals can be sent in infinite directions, but only two wired signals can be sent. For example, 5G can deliver the same data as a wired connection.

Historically, cellular networks have been constrained by the political challenge of allocating spectral rights, but the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) innovation has allowed the United States to become a leader in radio frequency auctions. .. This is a recognized achievement at the 2020 Nobel Prize in Economics. Today, in the United States, a small portion of all spectra are allocated by auction, but market-based allocations bring tremendous social benefits and need to be expanded.

Treatise I Co-author Wireless expert David Witkowski compares the economic forecasts of wireless technology with the price and performance of spectrum allocations.For example, bidding by 50 recent wireless providers C band auction Total revenue was $ 94 billion. $ 81 billion was deposited with the Treasury after the incumbent rights holders secured the amount to be compensated. This is a small amount for social benefit. This spectrum tranche is expected to generate $ 192 billion in economic activity over seven years in next-generation cellular networks.

Compared to a competing process that allocates a 280 MHz C-band spectrum, the FCC provided four times the amount of a similarly valuable spectrum in the 6 GHz band. FCC is the world leader in auctions, but it runs a traditional “beauty contest”. In this contest, various stakeholders will market to agencies why they get access to Spectrum for free. In April 2020, the FCC considered 1200MHz in the 6GHz band as “unlicensed.”Anyone can use this spectrum, but in essence A gift for the big tech platform I want to send a service via Wi-Fi for a fee.

The unlicensed 6GHz spectrum is expected to generate $ 154 billion in direct and indirect economic benefits over six years for a variety of Wi-Fi applications. Both licensed and unlicensed revenue streams are attractive, but the 5G spectrum is on track to provide 4.5 times more economic value per MHz than Wi-Fi in the 6GHz band. increase. This amount does not include $ 81 billion in 5G auction revenue. This in itself represents 53% of the total economic value of Wi-Fi predicted at 6 GHz.

This comparison is important because Biden-Harris’ plans do not cover mobile broadband, as well as 5G, the de facto platform for broadband access for most Internet users in the world. Instead, the Biden-Harris program prioritizes more expensive networks (fiber to the home) provided by inefficient and inexperienced providers (local governments). This favor may reflect political reasons, not economic ones.Fiber to Home Networks has several features suitable for online movies offered by Big streamer (Netflix, YouTube, Disney +, Amazon Prime, Microsoft), the main components of Biden-Harris. The broadband subsidies proposed in the plan will seemingly reward Biden Harris’s favorable districts.


The Biden-Harris program also observes the importance of financial support to obtain financially disadvantaged online. However, that policy creates potential conflicts with progressive solutions that are already running. For example, it’s easy for federal and state-level .gov domains to be and should be accessible for free at no data charges. The total amount of data for intrinsic health, safety, and government apps is minimal compared to entertainment.Already has a proof of concept VA Video Connect This allows veterans to access telemedicine services at no data charge when using AT & T, TracFone, T-Mobile, and Verizon cellular networks.As Nicol Turner Lee of the Brookings Institution detailThe app helped the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regularly contact approximately 2.6 million veterans from remote areas with limited transportation during a pandemic. This proved important because VA hospitals were exposed to high stress during the pandemic and were unable to maintain previous levels of routine care.

VA Connect’s free data or “zero rating” shows voluntary exchange, which is a fundamental principle of the market economy that allows producers and consumers to exercise their free choice and decide how to that program He has been active in developing countries for many years. Indeed, the market can offer any number of free programs for social benefit applications that ensure that everyone has access to essential internet applications. But such a successful telemedicine program New California regulations And threatens to confuse VAConnect for veterans across the United States.

Given the “digital equity” claim, the desire to keep costs low for disadvantaged people, and fiber’s preference for home networks, the Biden-Harris program is a major beneficiary of broadband. You need to incorporate some Big Tech. In fact, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr says Big Tech is skipping the billions of dollars needed to maintain and build an American network, and it’s time to end it. Free ride.. He calls on Congress to legislate Big Tech to pay a fair share. Such models have been used in other industries for decades. It is logical for the largest users and beneficiaries to cover a significant portion of network costs and ensure their use.


The United States is fortunate that historically bipartisan broadband policies have helped invest in a variety of technologies. The success of that policy can be measured with a high level of private network investment. $ 1.8 trillion Since 1996. That’s about a quarter of the world’s total annual private broadband investment, a staggering number. Americans make up less than 5% of the world’s population, but enjoy abundant broadband resources.

A key factor in intensifying competition is lowering barriers to entry. As a result, the FCC is constantly reducing regulatory obstacles in both wired and wireless infrastructures, and its efforts have been confirmed in court. In particular, the savings in implementation costs are returned to consumers. This is an important way to keep broadband affordable. Over 5,500 providers are competing in the US broadband market. Multiple wireless operators cover the country with cellular, satellite, and fixed wireless technologies. Cable and fiber providers who know the value of wireless are investing heavily to improve their Wi-Fi solutions and even sell their wireless products.

To bring about “transformative” change, Biden Harris can consider market-based reforms. Federal spectrum Its governance structure remained untouched for 98 years.Clinton era suggestion The sale of Federal Spectrum’s holdings could generate $ 300 billion in 1996 (almost $ 5 trillion in today’s dollars), repay government bonds within 10 years, and shift the administrative allocation system to privatization. Suggested that.

The Biden-Harris broadband program should seem progressive, but it relies on old-fashioned technology, old-fashioned business models, and elite members. Wireless networks are the most cost-effective and user-friendly when the goal is to bring everyone online. Leaders should recognize the diversity of business models, from incorporating the wealthiest players into payment situations to making free data available to consumers. Finally, it is economically and politically wise to charge businesses for the use of networks and spectra, rather than forcing taxpayers to charge for delivering Big Tech traffic.

Biden-Harris needs to go all-in to mobile broadband to meet its fairness and connectivity goals

Source link Biden-Harris needs to go all-in to mobile broadband to meet its fairness and connectivity goals

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