FCC launches investigation of wireless industry

This afternoon, the Federal Communications Commission gingerly passed measures that will result in the publication of three "Notices of Inquiry," seeking public input not only on the status of wireless broadband communications in this country, but what measures it should take to better judge just what "good" or "bad" means for that industry. While all those positive words were being spoken on the industry's behalf, however -- references to "the spirit of American innovation" abounded from both sides of the bench today -- from the other end of the building this afternoon, the FCC formally announced it will be launching an inquiry to "identify concrete steps the Commission can take to support and encourage further innovation and investment in the wireless marketplace."

"Wireless mobility has become central to the economic, civic, and social lives of over 270 million Americans," a statement from the FCC said this afternoon.  "We are now in the midst of a transition from reliance on mobile voice services to increasing use of and reliance on mobile broadband services, which promise to connect American citizens in new and profound ways.  A robustly competitive mobile wireless market will be essential to realizing the full benefits to American consumers and channeling investment into vitally important national infrastructure.  The FCC is seeking to ensure that competition in the mobile wireless market continues to bring substantial benefits to American consumers."

The FCC announced its intention to vote on this inquiry last week, and now the commission will develop a framework for analyzing the wireless industry that will shape regulatory issues moving forward.

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