FCC Commissioner Baker wonders how net neutrality will work for wireless

FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, former head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) during the Bush administration, said its unclear to her how new, proposed net neutrality rules could be applied to wireless networks.

"I'm not convinced we have a problem we need to address," she said in an interview during a taping of a C-SPAN show. "As we go forward, I'm actually not clear how we could impose network neutrality rules on wireless networks. I think we'll leave it to engineers as we move forward to see how we can actually do that. What we don't want to do here, especially in the course of developing a national broadband plan, is to do anything that would harm the innovation and investment in these networks."

Baker, one of two Republican commissioners on the five-member FCC panel, said she is concerned about possible unintended consequences of the new rules, which are intended for both wireless and wireline telecom companies. Initial comments on the draft rules are due Jan. 14.

Baker also talked about whether broadcast spectrum should be reallocated for wireless broadband use, something CTIA has asked for as the demand for mobile data skyrockets.

"I don't expect we'd take all the broadcasters' spectrum, but I suspect that there might be some in there that might be more efficiently used in a commercial wireless sense," she said. "All ideas should be on the table."

For more:
- see this The Hill article

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