The FCC is spending $300 million to improve access to wireless data networks around the country, but it's not enough, according to a recent GeekWire editorial by Tom Gurr, executive director of Pacific Technology Alliance. To create the wireless coverage needed, billions of dollars in additional investment is still needed.
According to Gurr, Internet access creates jobs, and wireless access is a more cost-effective solution than laying fiber optic cable for a large land mass like the U.S. “Given how much is left to do to expand access to high-speed wireless connections, even after the FCC Mobility Fund announcement, the government can supplement its actions by ensuring public policy and regulations encourage private-sector investment in the build-out of robust communications infrastructure,” he wrote.
A recent study by Washington, D.C.-based think tank NDN concluded that states that invest in new cellular technology subsequently have higher than average rates of employment growth. More than 1.5 million jobs were created out of a transition from 2G to 3G wireless infrastructure between April 2007 and June 2011, the study found. The study supports Gurr's conclusions, suggesting that “a national strategy to promote stronger job creation should actively encourage or include measures to accelerate the adoption of 4G infrastructure.”