DENVER (CBS4) – Sen. Cory Gardner and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai met in Denver on Saturday with communication and technology leaders to discuss the demand for data. Experts say with the high demand for Internet, “spectrum” could run out.

Spectrum refers to the invisible airwaves that computers and cellphones use to send and receive data. It’s a concern because mobile data traffic is predicted to increase seven-fold by 2019.

The question is how to get the spectrum to support it.

It’s an issue that lawmakers say affects everyone.

“So that we won’t end up in a situation where you’re holding that iPhone, and you can’t get the data,” said Gardner.

The skyrocketing demand for data is what he says is behind his legislative efforts to increase spectrum for Internet access.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“The bottom line is this: it becomes an economic choke-point if we don’t find the most efficient, best way, to make it available,” said Gardner.

Commissioner Pai is in agreement.

“It’s so critical in the digital age, for people to be able to apply for a job, to educate their kids, to get quality healthcare, to start a business.  If you don’t have a broadband connection, in a lot of ways, you’re almost left in the 20th century,” he said.

Commissioner Pai says the goal is to make sure that everyone, even those in Colorado’s rural areas, have the same opportunities to succeed in the digital age.

“There are some people who don’t have Internet access at all, some people who do have Internet access might not get a very fast connection. Or it might be at a very high price,” Pai said.

Gardner said, “we have to make sure that our communities have the size of broadband that they need in order to allow people to live there, to telecommute, to work from home, and to take tests at schools.”

Gardner says providers are looking into buying spectrum from television stations, and federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense.

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