House of Reps Task Force to Explore Gov's Use of Spectrum
The U.S House of Representatives has formed a new task force in order to evaluate the government's use of wireless spectrum and determine if it can be put to more efficient use. The federal government is the largest user of wireless spectrum in the U.S., with much of it owned by the Department of Defense for surveillance and weapons testing. "As the largest single spectrum user, the federal government could save taxpayers money and provide its own agencies better technology tools while simultaneously making more frequencies available to meet America's exploding demand for mobile broadband services," said Representative Greg Walden, chairman of the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee. The Federal Spectrum Working Group is a bipartisan effort. Earlier this year, the NTIA identified 95MHz of spectrum that it believes the federal government can share with commercial services. The Obama administration is looking to recapture 500MHz of spectrum for commercial use as part of its national broadband plan.
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.
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.
Lawmakers Revive WiFi Innovation Act
Senators Marco Rubio and Cory Booker today reintroduced the WiFi Innovation Act with the goal of opening up more access to spectrum in the 5GHz band. The act was first introduced in June 2014.
T-Mobile Says It Will Start Using 600 MHz Spectrum This Year
"T-Mobile now has the largest swath of unused low-band spectrum in the country," said T-Mobile CEO John Legere about the company's 600 MHz auction winnings. The company successfully won an average of 31 MHz (ranging between 20 MHz and 50 MHz) of the 70 MHz low-band spectrum auctioned off by TV stations and the FCC.