At its August 27 open meeting, the FCC announced two Notices of Inquiry focusing on the status of the wireless marketplace. The first seeks comment on the competitiveness of the mobile wireless marketplace and how the FCC can improve its analysis of the market’s competitive conditions (the “Competition NOI”). The second seeks comment on ways the FCC can promote innovation and investment in the wireless marketplace (the “Innovation NOI”). It appears that the new FCC administration is taking a fresh and different look at the wireless industry, which may prove beneficial for carriers and consumers alike.
The record in the Competition NOI will help ensure that the FCC’s annual report on the state of competition in the commercial mobile services market accurately reflects ongoing developments in technologies and services. The Competition NOI asks about the analytic framework and data sources that the FCC should use to measure competition. The Competition NOI also includes new market segments, including device and infrastructure, which had not been included in the FCC’s prior annual competition reports. In addition, the Competition NOI seeks comment on vertical relationships between “upstream” and “downstream” market segments, and their impact on competition.
Recognizing the key role that innovation plays in the communications sector, the Innovation NOI seeks proposals through which the FCC can foster innovation and investment in the wireless sector. The Innovation NOI specifically seeks comment on spectrum availability, management, and use, wireless networks, devices, applications, and business practices. Commentators are also encouraged to discuss how wireless services and technologies benefit health care, energy, education and public safety.
Comments and replies for both the Competition NOI and Innovation NOI are due September 30 and October 15, respectively.