Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania


February 1, 2013

The Federal Communications Commission sought to cut the red tape it takes to roll out wireless gadgets and services by voting Thursday to streamline the process inventors go through for testing on the nation's airwaves. The changes will help keep American industry on the cutting edge of technological innovation, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski explained. "Wireless innovation is a key to U.S. competitiveness," he said before the vote. "This is part of our collective effort to say the U.S. is committed to leadership in this area and make the U.S. -for today and the future - the world's innovation hub for wireless." The move by the commission consolidates various rules governing experimental airwaves licenses into one section, allowing researchers to make changes to power levels and frequencies and easing approval for market trials and medical testing. "What we're doing today is taking our experimental licensing program to the next level to meet the needs of even more rapid experimentation and innovation in the wireless world to help drive our economy," Genachowski said.

While the changes make it easier for inventors to tinker with their experiments, it includes safeguards to protect services that already are being used. Researchers have to tell incumbent license holders that they might interfere with the service in use and will have to shut down the experiments if they cause problems. Incumbents will also have time to object to the experimental uses before they occur. Noting that the current experimental licenses have allowed "systems to support rocket launches, development of patient monitoring equipment and new robotic technology for the armed forces" in the past, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the changes will allow American inventors to create "simply neat stuff." The commission's vote is not the last word in this area as the FCC is also taking a thorough review of the agency's process for approving new wireless devices. "For the first time in over a decade, we are beginning to take a serious look at how new radio equipment is approved," Rosenworcel said. "We have in front of our offices a proposed rule making designed to expedite the equipment authorization process." Rosenworcel said the commission needs to take steps to speed the monthlong certification process for new gadgets. "By moving new devices through our approval process more quickly, we can put them on the market sooner," she said. "I think combining streamlined equipment authorization with new experimental licenses will provide a great jolt to wireless innovation."


Craig Moffett, a top-ranked telecommunications analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., is resigning from his job after a decade at the investment bank, according to a person familiar with the situation. Moffett is considering starting his own firm, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the resignation hasn't been announced publicly. The 50-year-old has been ranked No. 1 among U.S. cable and satellite analysts for seven consecutive years by Institutional Investor magazine. He joined Bernstein, a division of New York-based AllianceBernstein LP, a decade ago. Prior to that, he spent 11 years at the Boston Consulting Group, where he led the firm's global practice in telecommunications. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1984 and earned his master's degree in business administration from Harvard Business School in 1989.

Moffett has long championed cable companies such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. for owning the networks that carry digital information. Moffett has said "distribution is king," rather than content, because network owners will always find a way to get paid. Comcast and Time Warner Cable each rose more than 50 percent last year, and investors value both at a premium to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, based on price-to-earnings ratios. Moffett has advised buying Comcast since at least 2003 and Time Warner Cable since at least 2007, except for a brief period in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Jonathan Freedman, a spokesman for AllianceBernstein, didn't immediately return a voice message seeking comment.