recommended reading

Spectrum-sharing plan approved by FCC

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said "Today, we take an important step forward in our effort to enable greater government-commercial spectrum sharing."

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said "Today, we take an important step forward in our effort to enable greater government-commercial spectrum sharing." // Mark Thiessen/AP file photo

The Federal Communications Commission has given T-Mobile USA the green light to begin testing a plan to share spectrum with federal users in a swath of spectrum coveted by the wireless industry.

The pilot program will test the impact of sharing spectrum in the 1755-1780 megahertz band to see how commercial use of those airwaves impacts federal agencies currently using that band.

The wireless industry has been pushing the federal government to try to free up the band for exclusive use by commercial providers. However, the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration has said that moving federal users from this band would take years and cost billions.

"Today, we take an important step forward in our effort to enable greater government-commercial spectrum sharing, a new tool that joins clearing and reallocation as part of an 'all-of-the-above' strategy to address our nation's spectrum challenges," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement late Tuesday. "By granting the first authorization of testing in the 1755-1780 MHz band, the commission hopes to facilitate commercial mobile broadband services in that band, which would significantly benefit millions of U.S. wireless consumers and help drive the mobile innovation economy."

While wireless industry officials say they are open to sharing as part of a comprehensive spectrum strategy, they also have voiced concern that the Obama administration is focusing too much attention on sharing spectrum and not enough on clearing bands for exclusive use by wireless companies. Wireless firms say they will need more spectrum to meet their customers' growing demand for wireless broadband technologies.

"The testing we propose is part of an industry-wide effort to build critical understanding of operations in this band, and we will be working with other carriers and equipment manufacturers moving ahead," T-Mobile Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tom Sugrue said in a statement. "There remains a critical need for additional bandwidth for commercial services, and our ability to test in this band represents an important milestone in bringing new spectrum resources to market."

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.