Who's Around to Protect Defense Spectrum?

The answer: No one. That's because the Defense Department has neither a CIO nor an assistant secretary of Defense for networks and information integration (that job is slated for the junk heap as part of a grand money-saving reorganization scheme).

But that plan is going nowhere due to congressional opposition. One result is that there's no one around at a high level to fight for the 100 MHz of Defense spectrum that Lawrence Strickling, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said yesterday he wants to transfer to commercial cellular companies in connection with the national broadband plan.

Strickling said he will work with Defense and other agencies to ensure they have the spectrum needed to perform critical missions, but somehow those missions seem far less important than the ability of every 12-year-old in America to stream Hannah Montana videos to their mobile phones.

Will Defense mount a defense of its spectrum? I can't even get an answer to that question -- a reflection of the CIO leadership vacuum.

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