It usually takes fresh thinking to bring about positive changes in government, and sometimes it takes fresh faces. We had a great example of that in Silicon Valley last week as Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai, the two new Commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), visited with a coalition of technology business leaders to discuss ways to foster innovation and economic growth in tech industries, particularly telecommunications.
What made this visit so refreshing is that it involved two senior regulators going to Silicon Valley to listen to entrepreneurs and innovators and better understand the needs of the high-tech community. To make business work and to keep entrepreneurs innovating, the right business environment must be in place – an environment that promotes and accelerates the invention and application of new devices and technologies. The FCC is key to helping establish an environment that promotes regulatory certainty to enable growth and innovation throughout the entire telecom ecosystem.
In recent speeches and statements, both of these Commissioners have addressed the need for quicker decision making by the FCC and leadership to advance infrastructure investment throughout the industry. For example, Commissioner Pai recently stated that “the FCC should be as nimble as the industry we oversee”, he said the FCC should ensure that it isn’t a barrier to investment and innovation – by making well thought out but quicker decisions in order to spur broadband investment, facilitate growth and create jobs in telecom.
Commissioner Rosenworcel acknowledged during her visit, how the high tech sector promotes innovation with speed and alacrity. After meeting with industry leaders, Commissioner Rosenworcel noted that “[t]he digital economy is growing fast and there are lessons to learn from its energy.” Technology changes rapidly – new devices are invented, new applications are created, new services are brought online and new opportunities enrich consumers’ lives.
To keep our high tech sector growing and innovating, the nation’s policymakers should ensure that we eliminate unnecessary and burdensome barriers that innovators and entrepreneurs face when deciding to invest and deploy in the next generation of facilities, services and applications. In order to continue our leadership role in the deployment of advanced broadband services, the high tech sector needs regulatory certainty, and quick FCC decision making. A strong, bipartisan approach will be needed to set the right policies for our high tech economy to thrive. Fortunately for the FCC, two Commissioners last week took the time to witness what is needed first hand and to listen to the experts — and who came back to DC showing that they understand the needs of our Nation’s high tech community.
We look forward to new and exciting prospects for consumers in technology, and we look forward to the continued great work of Commissioners Pai and Rosenworcel.
Mike Montgomery is the Executive Director of CALinnovates