recommended reading

NTIA's $18 billion spectrum reallocation plan would force battlefield networks to move

Napatchapong Veerasak/Shutterstock.com

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Tuesday said it would cost $18 billion to reallocate 95MHz of federal spectrum for commercial use and take at least a decade to complete. NTIA released the findings in a detailed analysis of the plan.

The agency wants to move more than than 3,100 individual frequency assignments of 20 federal agencies out of the 1755-1850 MHz frequency band to other bands. It will pay for this shift from auctions of spectrum to commercial providers. "Current law requires that auction proceeds exceed expected federal relocation costs. Since federal relocation costs are expected to be high, any repurposing option needs to promote economic value while ensuring no loss of critical federal capabilities," NTIA said.

The reallocation plan calls for shifting two key Army battlefield network systems, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical and the backpack version of the Joint Tactical Radio System, the agency said in an appendix to the analysis.

The JTRS backpack radio operates in the 1350-1390 MHz and 1755-1850 MHz bands slated for commercial use. NTIA said a planned move to frequencies above 2 GHz access to spectrum "is not achievable without significant engineering modifications." WIN-T, which operates in the 1350-2690 MHz range, can be retuned and shifted to the 2 GHz band, according to the agency

The Air Force operates satellite control links in the 1755-1850 MHz band. Due to the long orbit life of some satellites, control link frequencies could not be moved until 2045, NTIA said.

The Defense Department estimated it would spend $2.35 billion to move satellite control operations out of the 1755-1850 MHz band. Defense also operates small unmanned aerial systems in this band, and NTIA estimated it would cost $1.4 billion to switch those frequencies.

The Homeland Security, Justice and Treasury departments operate video surveillance systems in the band slated for commercial use, and NTIA put the cost of moving those systems at approximately $4.9 billion.

DHS also uses the band to support security enforcement along the border between Texas and Mexico. Several point-to-point microwave systems provide a critical link for the various communications and surveillance technologies DHS field personnel use. These wireless systems route communications media, voice from tactical radios, video imagery from remote surveillance systems, and data from ground sensors to the key decision-makers in Central Command and communications centers, NTIA said.

Some of the federal systems in this band may require more than a decade to relocate, which could further complicate deployment of commercial services.

NTIA is proposing that both spectrum sharing and reallocation to accommodate federal and commercial users.

(Image via Napatchapong Veerasak /Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.