Monday, March 26, 2012

NTIA Spectrum Report Proposes Sharing 1755-1850 MHz Band

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued its long-awaited report on reallocating spectrum currently occupied by the federal government for commercial purposes.


The "Assessment of the Viability of Accommodating Wireless Broadband in the 1755 – 1850 MHz Band" finds that 95 megahertz (MHz) of prime spectrum could be repurposed for wireless broadband use. Over 20 federal agencies currently hold more than 3,100 individual frequency assignments in this band. Federal uses of this spectrum include law enforcement surveillance, military tactical communications, air combat training, precision-guided munitions, weather balloons, etc.


Clearing a spectrum band of federal users requires finding other spectrum for these applications, as well as the cost and migration challenges in deploying new equipment. The NTIA estimates it may take a decade to complete a migration.


In addition, NTIA said its analysis of the cost of a complete relocation raises questions as to whether the proceeds from auctioning the 1755-1850 MHz band for commercial use will exceed federal relocation costs, as required by law.


Therefore, NTIA is proposing NTIA proposes a spectrum sharing scheme between government and industry.


"Spectrum is a finite resource in growing demand, and we need to focus on new ways to maximize its use. By working with the FCC, other federal agencies, and the industry, we can make more spectrum available to fuel innovation and preserve America’s technological leadership while protecting vital government missions,�? said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling.
http://www.ntia.doc.gov

  • In November 2010, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recommended that 115 MHz of spectrum be reallocated for wireless broadband service within the next five years. As part of the announcement, NTIA released two complementary reports detailing the effort to nearly double commercial wireless spectrum: a Ten-Year Plan and Timetable, as well as a Fast Track Evaluation identifying the 115 megahertz of spectrum to be made available within five years. In the Fast Track Evaluation report, NTIA examined four spectrum bands for potential reallocation within five years: 1) 1675-1710 MHz, 2) 1755-1780 MHz, 3) 3500-3650 MHz, and 4) 4200-4220 MHz and 4380-4400 MHz. The report recommends that various portions of these bands totaling 115 megahertz be made available for wireless broadband use within five years, contingent upon the allocation of resources for necessary reallocation activities. Specifically, NTIA recommends reallocating 1695-1710 MHz, currently used for dissemination of severe weather information and alerts via satellites operated by Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and 3550-3650 MHz, which would be shared with Department of Defense radar systems mainly on ships. NTIA recommends some geographic limitations on the availability of these bands to prevent harmful interference to government facilities in the 1695-1710 MHz band and to the proposed commercial services in the 3550-3650 MHz band.


  • In June 2010, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum committing the federal government to make available 500 MHz of federal and commercial spectrum available to new mobile broadband usage over the next 10 years. The effort, which would nearly double the amount of commercial spectrum currently available for commercial use, was expected to result new rounds of spectrum auctions.

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