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

Network intrusion / Software vulnerability

Hundreds of Thousands of Job Seekers' Information May Have Been Compromised by Hackers

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

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

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


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