FCC

The fight for 5G airwaves

Illustration: Sarah Grillo, Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Tech companies see the transition to 5G as an opportunity to gain new footholds in the connectivity business that's dominated by major wireless providers.

Why it matters: For consumers, 5G will likely be a collection of technologies rather than one single technical solution. For industry, that means fighting over who gets what airwaves and under which conditions.

Ex-FCC chief: Big Tech should seize the chance to shape regulation

Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
Former FCC ChairmanTom Wheeler speaks onstage at the 2016 Common Sense Media Awards in New York City. Photo: by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Common Sense Media.

Silicon Valley's move-fast-and-break-things model has succeeded, and former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says it's Big Tech's responsibility — and opportunity — to work with policymakers to pick up the pieces.

Why it matters: Before his FCC tenure, Wheeler spent years as the top lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries as they made peace with federal rules. He's encouraging Big Tech to follow the same game plan — or else face messier policy regimes set by states and regulators abroad.