MobileFuture published an interesting graphic which you can link to right here. It highlights that of all available spectrum, 16% of it is available for commercial use. The rest is used by television broadcasters and the federal government.
You may say, okay. Sixteen percent of all those airwaves is not that bad. That would be saying that 16% of onramps to U.S. highways available for commercial trucking is a good deal when in reality we have bigger and faster trucks lugging goods and services and more of them are demanding use of those onramps.
That is what’s happening with broadband access, particularly with mobile access. Although the wireless industry has invested $113 billion in wireless infrastructure, 330 million wireless accounts pushing up on 16% availability of spectrum spells crunch time for opening access to the airwaves. No allocation of spectrum over the last four years has only set the industry and wireless consumers back further.
The federal government is the only market for spectrum. It has established itself as gatekeeper of the resource. It has to increase its reaction time to the crisis if consumers are to continue receiving data speeds they have grown accustomed to.