The analysis presented above leads to the question, How can government help? First and foremost, government needs to accept what history has taught, that is, that mobility is essential. Wireless solutions need to be an explicit part of the NII agenda. An initial 165 MHz of spectrum if we leave in ITS, and 145 MHz if not, needs to be allocated for industrial and public safety services, IVHS and satellite services. Substantial additional spectrum will be required beyond that for third-generation systems. In fact the government itself has projected a need for approximately 250 MHz over the next 10 years for wireless terrestrial and satellite services. Government assistance needs to be focused on making spectrum available. "Re-mining" of existing broadcast television and broadcast auxiliary spectrum should be considered in light of the capability of Phase II systems to deliver both broadband data and video. Clearing the spectrum is not just a regulatory challenge. Solutions need to be developed to migrate existing services to either wireline or new spectrum.
The United States has led the world with its communications and computing visions in the past, and with mobility as part of the NII agenda it will do so again well into the next century.
The network architecture of the NII must support its goal to facilitate true national mobility and connectivity. Open standards and interfaces should be adopted to assure a competitive supply of equipment to the operators and users of the NII. A level playing field and fair competition between independent device manufacturers will ensure affordable pricing and continued technological development. Naturally, the standards should address the need for privacy while allowing room for the innovative use of technology to provide access and security.
In conclusion, the NII features of portability and ubiquity are key to its success. But these aspects of the NII can be realized only if U.S. government regulators free up appropriate spectrum resources so that the private sector can develop these new markets.