America’s love affair with all things mobile continues to surge. An industry study this spring concluded that Americans used more than four trillion megabytes of mobile data last year. A second new report estimates that our mobile data use will grow 400% by 2019.
This is important for reasons that go far beyond how often we’re texting or watching a new online video. For the country in general, and certainly Asian-Americans, our growing use of wireless has significant implications.
We’re doing more and paying less for our wireless transmissions than ever before. This, in turn, is spurring job opportunities and the potential for huge improvements in healthcare, education and entertainment.
This news also brings into sharp focus the prominence of the federal government’s upcoming wireless spectrum auctions. This auction is one of the federal government’s most important domestic actions in 2016. The benefits of a successful auction will be felt for years. Unfortunately, so will the problems if the auction is a failure.
That’s why the rules governing this auction must be as straightforward as possible: any further attempts to weight the auction toward one or more participants disadvantages a large percentage of the American population.
For Asian-Americans, the deployment of better Internet service is essential. As a 2013 Nielsen survey documented, our community has adopted mobile services far faster than the general population when it comes to social networking and commerce.
Asian American clients are more than twice as likely as to open an account online and almost three and a half times as likely to obtain a mutual fund over the internet. Seventy-seven percent of Asian Americans have made an internet purchase in the past year compared to only 61% of the general population. And 30% of Asian Americans use blogs and social networking sites to learn about insurance, while only 11% of the general population takes advantages of these online resources.
With so much for our community’s advancement riding on our mobile experience, the stakes are high with this FCC auction. This is no time for regulatory overreach or corporate favoritism. An open bidding process that treats everyone equally is the best way to keep our mobile economy moving forward, and our community enjoying the mobile empowerment of the 21st century.