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25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

25th Anniversary of FCC Decision Enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
A series of posts describing how this all came about. (Click on picture above)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

FCC Releases Both 2009 Budget and "Annual" Wireless Competition Report

Yesterday was a busy day on 12th Street SW. FCC released both its 2009 Budget request and the 12th Annual (sic) Wireless Competition Report.

47 USC 332(c)(1)(C) provides

"The Commission shall review competitive market conditions with respect to commercial mobile services and shall include in its annual report an analysis of those conditions."

The 11th Annual Report was released on 9/29/06. The new 12th Annual Report was released 2/4/08 and covers data from 2006 and events of 2007. Neither the report nor the press release mention the apparent discrepancy that there were more than 15 months between "annual reports" and there was no annual report in 2007. I guess the FCC only releases "good news" although they did release Comm. Copp's statement that points out that some of the data in the report shows mixed results.

Now in all fairness, the new report is more detailed than the previous ones being based on 8 million census blocks rather than the 3,200 counties. This is an impressive quantum jump in detail.

From the press release:

"The Twelfth Report introduces a new data source that allows for a significantly more granular and accurate analysis of mobile telephone service deployment and competition. The new data source is a set of maps that provide the detailed boundaries of the network coverage areas of every operational mobile telephone carrier in the United States. Using these maps, the FCC was able to estimate: (1) the percentage of the U.S. population covered by a certain number of providers, and (2) the percentage of the population covered by different types of network technologiesbased on census blocks, rather than counties. Because census blocksare much smaller than counties –there are eight million census blocks versus 3,200 counties in the United States–this enabled a significantly more accurate and granular assessment. The analysis of this data shows the following:

Approximately 280 million people, or 99.8 percent of the U.S. population,have
one or more different operators offering mobile telephone service in the census
blocks in which they live.

More than 95 percent of the U.S. population lives in areas with at least three
mobile telephone operators competing to offer service.

More than half of the U.S. population lives in areas with at least five competing
mobile telephone operators.

Approximately 99.3 percent of the U.S. population living in rural counties, or
60.6 million people, have one or more different operators offering mobile
telephone service in the census blocks within the rural counties in which they

Approximately 82 percent of the U.S. population lives in census blocks with at
least one mobile broadband provider offering service.

In addition,during 2006, the number of mobile telephone subscribers in the United States rose from 213 million to 241.8 million, increasing the nationwide penetration rate to approximately 80 percent. The average amount of minutes that subscribers spend using on their mobile devices increased from 708 minutes per month during the second half of 2000 to 714 minutes per month during the second half of 2006. In addition, the volume of text messaging traffic rose from 9.8 billion messages sent during December 2005 to 18.7 billon messages sent during December 2006. Revenue per minute, which can be used to measure the per-minute price of mobile telephone service, remained unchanged during 2006 at $0.07."
I have links to a variety of FCC annual reports on my website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You've talked in the past about the demise of the Spectrum Policy Task Force (your posting of May 18, 2007, for example). However, in the 2009 FCC Budget Document you linked, it says (on page 2, Introduction, under c. Spectrum) that the "...work of the FCC’s Spectrum Management Task Force is producing new approaches to
spectrum management... and will be even more essential in FY 2009.."
Perhaps you were too hasty in calling it dead (although the name change is confusing).