The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014 - (Page 12)

A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT & CEO A Competitive Framework Will Benefit Everyone By: Steven K. Berry President & CEO, CCA F or the past three years, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has been unable to conclude that there is "effective competition" in the mobile wireless industry. These sobering reports, researched and written by the FCC itself, should be a wakeup call for policymakers that changes need to be made to restore competition to the industry, and they need to be made now. Consumers, the economy and the wireless industry do not benefit from a lack of competition, and it is absolutely critical for the Commission to implement policies that reverse the march towards a duopoly. During his first few days as FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler said, "We all know that competition does not always flourish by itself; it must be supported and protected if its benefits are to be enjoyed." CCA could not agree more. Unfortunately, the Commission has not implemented safeguards over the past several years and, as a result, the wireless industry has become increasingly consolidated. With a new Chairman at the helm, there is no better opportunity for the FCC to turn the ship around and instill a more competitive framework for the industry. Recently, CCA released a whitepaper entitled, "A Framework for Sustainable Competition in the Digital Age," outlining a number of ways in which the FCC could enhance the state of competition throughout the industry. History shows that preserving and enhancing wireless competition is a vital means of driving economic growth and job creation, promoting continued innovation, and enhancing consumer welfare. For the wireless industry to survive, effective safeguards must be in place to prevent the exercise of market power - rules and policies that prohibit excessive consolidation and preserve access to key inputs like spectrum, devices and networks. Taking all of this into consideration, CCA recommended that the Commission create a Competition Task Force, which would be responsible with analyzing, developing, and implementing proposals for promoting wireless competition. In particular, CCA proposed the Task Force should focus on six initiatives that are essential to restoring competition: 1) Reform and strengthen the spectrum screen - The decadeold, single trigger spectrum screen is in dire need of reform, and the FCC must have in place a sufficient means of identifying the amount of spectrum in a given area to prevent excessive aggregation. 2) Design fair and procompetitive rules for spectrum auctions - The FCC should ensure carriers of all sizes - both large and small - have CCA recommended that the Commission create a Competition Task Force, which would be responsible with analyzing, developing, and implementing proposals for promoting wireless competition. 12 THE VOICE * * Spring/Summer 2014 meaningful opportunity to acquire additional spectrum. 3) Ensure commercially reasonable access to data roaming agreements - The Commission should examine into whether the largest carriers are using their market power to artificially inflate roaming rates. 4) Maintain baseline interconnection and access obligations as the industry moves to an all IP world - The Commission should safeguard competitive carriers' ability to interconnect with wireline networks. 5) Restore the copyright extension for handset unlocking - Consumers deserve to take the device of their choosing to the carrier that best meets their needs and desires. Device unlocking also is particularly important for smaller and regional carriers who may still have difficulty obtaining the latest, iconic devices. 6) Review USF policies to restore competitive neutrality - Support for wireless services unfortunately was drastically cut in the USF/ICC Transformation Order, and the Commission should take every opportunity in its USF reform proceeding to support technologically and competitively neutral technologies. As the industry continues to move to an all IP world, it is essential that a strong foundation of competition is in place. Consumers, the economy, and small businesses across the country will benefit from a competitive industry. Whether or not the FCC creates a Task Force, the agency should act decisively and take a good, collective look at the issues outlined in CCA's whitepaper. Three years without "effective competition" is three years too many; now is the time for change, and CCA is ready and willing to help every step of the way.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014

Chairman’s Letter by Jonathan Foxman
A Message from the President and CEO by Steven K. Berry
CCA’s 2013 Annual Achievement Award Winners
Staying Ahead of “The Next Big Thing”
Near Tragedy in Nevada Demonstrates Need for Rural Investment
Competition – The Foundation for a Healthy Industry
Putting the “Incentive” in Incentive Auction
Beat ’Em or Join ’Em: Data Roaming in a 4G LTE World
2014: The Year of Small Cell Deployment
Band Class 12 – Beyond Broadband
Chat Mobility Utilizes Multi-Faceted Plan to Attract & Retain Customers
Blurred Lines: Reinventing in the Rural Market
Regional Carrier Bridges Digital Divide with Massive Network Upgrade
Wireless Challenges and Solutions for Competitive Carriers
Expanding America’s Wireless Networks: It Takes a Village
Lead with Location
Giving Your Customer Their Preferred Choices in Billing: Paper, Electronic, and Mobile
Monetizing Data Demand with Personalized Services
Making Sure Long-Distance Calls Reach Rural Subscribers
Mobility Growth with Emerging Devices
Mobile Broadband and the Rise of Mobile Security Challenges
On the Verge: Fulfilling 4G-LTE Consumer Demand in America
Transform Your Business by Making It Simpler
Lessons Learned on the Road to LTE
Let’s Get Personal
Even If the Voice Packets Make It, Does the Lack of Quality Ruin It?
Our Connected World: The Necessity of NFV for Telcos
Ten Hot Consumer Trends in 2014 and Beyond
Gain Your Edge: Effective Edge Out Strategies with 4G LTE
Reaching Consumer Demand Through Marketing in the Rural Driven Markets
Tips for Improving the Customer Experience
Creating a Super High-Capacity Network in Rural America
Your Competitors Are Coming for Your Customers
Index of Advertisers
Congressional Spotlight: Representative Robert “Bob” Latta

The CCA Voice - Spring/Summer 2014