FCC warns of impending wireless spectrum shortage

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said an impending shortage of wireless spectrum in the U.S. will dampen future economic growth unless action is taken to fix the problem.

"Our data shows there's a looming crisis, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, but at some point in the future," Genachowski told attendees at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Friday.

"The record is pretty clear that we need to find more spectrum," he said.

The FCC has identified the limited supply of wireless spectrum as one of the factors that could limit the growth of broadband Internet services in the U.S., which could result in slower economic growth and job creation.

Wireless spectrum will be addressed, along with other factors affecting broadband access and services, in a national broadband plan that the FCC is now assembling. The plan was originally due to be completed next month, but the FCC received a 30-day extension from the U.S. Congress.

The wide array of devices on display at CES that rely on wireless broadband underscores the urgency of resolving the spectrum issue, Genachowski said.