NTIA Suggests U.S. Gov Share Its Spectrum with Consumers
A new plan being pitched by Obama administration officials would see the U.S. government share portions of its spectrum holdings with commercial companies that provide wireless services. "Spectrum is a finite resource in growing demand, and we need to focus on new ways to maximize its use," said Lawrence Strickling, administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The spectrum in question offers 95MHz across 3,100 different frequencies, and is being used by more than 20 U.S. government agencies — including all branches of the military. Strickling suggested that some government users would be switched to different frequencies, while other federal and comercial users would share some of the frequencies. Strickling wants the U.S. and the wireless industry to discuss the idea and come up with a workable solution. CTIA - The Wireless Association is urging the Federal Communications Commission and NTIA to get to work on proposals as quickly as possible, Specifically, the CTIA is calling for them to reallocate the Federal 1755-1780MHz band for commercial use and to pair it with the AWS-3 2155-2180MHz band. The NTIA hopes that the FCC will hold auctions associated with these repurposed bands by 2014.
Senators Revive Wireless Innovation Act
A quintet of Senators recently re-introduced the Wireless Innovation Act of 2015, which asks the federal government to find 200 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband. The act was sponsored by Senators Marco Rubio, Roger Wicker, Kelly Ayotte, Cory Gardner, and Ron Johnson.
FCC: Still Work to Do to Free Up More Spectrum
FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler underscored the need to find and free up more spectrum in a recent meeting with the Obama Administration. Wheeler met with Lawrence Strickling, the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, to discuss the FCC's progress in finding 500 megahertz of spectrum for wireless broadband.
Sprint to Sit Out AWS-3 Auction
Sprint today confirmed that it will skip an upcoming spectrum auction. "Sprint has decided not to participate in the FCC's AWS-3 auction, but will continue to evaluate the opportunities presented by the upcoming 600MHz incentive auction," said Sprint spokesman Jeffrey Silva to Bloomberg.
FCC Agrees to Open 3.5GHz for Wireless Service
The FCC today voted unanimously to approve a Report and Order that will free up 150MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band. The idea had been floated by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last month.