FCC's Ruth Milkman: Wireless on verge of transformation

She said the FCC needs to "unleash spectrum" for wireless technology and remove obstacles to the development of 4G networks.

"Consumers take laptops and netbooks wherever they go and they expect an open Internet," she said. "We will be sensitive to the differences between wireless and wireline, in terms of technology, industry structure and history."

"These are not final rules," she said of the item before the FCC this week. "This is a notice. There will be plenty of time to submit comments."

When she was asked whether the FCC thinks the wireless industry is not competitive enough, she responded:

"There is tremendous agreement that wireless is vibrant and contributes to the economy," she said. "It’s a phenomenal set of services and applications. Just because there’s a lot of attention focused on the wireless industry, it’s almost like a parent focusing on a favorite child... The chairman is extremely interested in wireless industry. We just got started a little earlier than the other bureaus in focusing on what we need to do."