Nov 30, 2010: Markey Statement on FCC November Open Meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the House author of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act that was signed into law on October 8, 2010, today issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held its November Open Meeting to consider several topics, including its implementation plans for the Act and several spectrum matters:

Twenty years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act mandated physical ramps into buildings; now individuals with disabilities need online ramps to the Internet so they can get to the Web from wherever they happen to be. With today’s meeting, the Commission is kicking off implementation of the ‘ADA for the Internet’ to ensure that all Americans have improved access to the latest communications and video tools to compete in the 21st century job market and engage in daily activities.  I applaud the Commission for its work so far to implement this vital new law and look forward to working with the FCC as implementation proceeds.
When Rep. Markey was chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, he introduced legislation that ultimately became part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act to require the federal government to vacate 200 megahertz and auction the spectrum for commercial use, unleashing a new boom of innovation and competition and enabling the creation of the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th wireless providers. Rep. Markey plans to introduce legislation next year on a variety of spectrum issues, including the actions necessary to make available 300 mega hertz of spectrum within 5 years and the actions necessary to make a total of 500 mega hertz of spectrum available in 10 years.  Both policies are consistent with the National Broadband Plan, which Rep. Markey directed the FCC to prepare as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Spectrum is the oxygen of the Internet ecosystem, and its looming scarcity needs to be addressed to ensure the continued growth of the wireless broadband applications and services that help power our economy. The proliferation of smart phones and wireless netbooks has revolutionized the way we work and entertain ourselves, but also saps our supply of available spectrum.  I commend the Commission for taking action on this issue, which is so important for innovation, investment and job creation.”