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NTIA Suggests U.S. Gov Share Its Spectrum with Consumers

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Mar 27, 2012, 1:32 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

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.

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