Former FCC chairman Reed Hundt reiterated that his FCC, and the Clinton Administration in general, decided back in 1993 that mobile broadband was the communications medium of the future.
That came at a Minority Media and Telecommunications Council summit on Thursday in Washington, where Hundt was joined by a trio of other former FCC chairs: Michael Powell, Michael Copps and Dick Wiley.
Asked about the transition to IP delivery of voice and video content, which all the chairmen conceded was underway, Hundt suggested it had been in the process for a couple of decades, a point he has made before in suggesting that his FCC was engaged in promoting the Internet as the new common medium, supplanting broadcasting and cable.
Hundt pointed out that the same month he was confirmed -- in November 1993 -- Congress had just authorized the FCC to auction spectrum for mobile communications that allowed the FCC to create a competitive wireless market and the Internet as a commercial enterprise was effectively launched with the launch of browsers optimized for pictures on computers.
He said that the next six to nine months featured conversations about the Internet and mobility. "At the FCC and at the Clinton White House, a decision was taken by a large number of people, including Vice President Gore, that the future of communications technologically was likely to be the Internet and mobility, and that politically it would be a good thing not a bad thing."
He called it a strategic decision made, not by any one person, but by government. He said everybody knew those two decisions were monumentally disruptive.