By Chris Donkin

FCC members urge policy evolution

US telecommunications officials bridged the political divide to back changes in regulatory policies which would drive forward future wireless use cases, though divisions remained on which areas to prioritise.

Speaking across three different sessions on Thursday, Federal Communications Commission members Jessica Rosenworcel, Michael O’ Rielly and Brendan Carr discussed issues hampering the progress of the US wireless industry moving into the era of 5G and, in Rosenworcel’s case, even 6G.

Carr used his speech to endorse changes to planning regulations in the country to ease deployment of small cells, a policy he said would accelerate US operators’ progress in rolling out 5G. He added the country needed to change “antiquated rules”.

Rosenworcel looked beyond 5G, stating 6G service was “not as far off as you think”. She urged the introduction of dynamic spectrum policies well ahead of the advent of 6G to open shared bandwidth to new use cases.

While Carr and Rosenworcel focused on domestic issues, O’Rielly bemoaned slow progress on international policies, particularly those related to harmonising spectrum across borders.

“Harmonisation lowers the cost of production and service deployment, offering enormous advantages to consumers and nations,” he said. “For years we relied on our international spectrum bodies to bring coherence, agreement and forward thinking for many spectrum approaches … this structure is fraying.”