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 Chairman Opposes Idea of Government-Run 5G Network
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today said he disagrees with national security advisors' idea that the government should take control of 5G. "I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network," said Pai in a statement.
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.
House Panel Says Stingrays Need Federal Guidelines
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a bipartisan panel, this week recommended that the federal government pass rules to manage the use stingrays and other cell-site simulating devices. The panel said in a report that law enforcement agencies have varying and inconsistent rules for the use of such devices.