Thursday, June 8, 2006

FCC Plans Spectrum Sharing Testbed

The FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration seek to evaluate innovative methods for spectrum sharing among disparate users to enable more intensive use of the finite radio spectrum. The plan is to set up a test-bed where both federal and non-federal users could undertake one or more studies and experiments to test these ideas.

In June 2004, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued two reports with policy recommendations for improving spectrum management. One report addressed federal spectrum use and the other addressed commercial and state and local public safety spectrum use.4 Both reports included a recommendation that the Commission and the NTIA develop a Spectrum Sharing Innovation Test-Bed for use in planning how spectrum can best be shared between federal and non-federal users.

As part of the undertaking, NTIA and the FCC might each identify a segment of spectrum of equal bandwidth within their respective jurisdiction for this program. Each segment should be approximately 10 MHz for assignment on a shared basis for federal and non-federal use. The spectrum to be identified for this pilot program could come from bands currently allocated on either an exclusive or shared basis.

The test-bed could be used to effectuate many goals, including testing dynamic spectrum access techniques, developing new technologies for public safety and streamlining spectrum coordination processes between federal and non-federal users.

Public comments are sought.

See also