DOD creates spectrum chief

Amid continuing jousting between the Defense Department and the public sector over the wireless spectrum, the Pentagon has created a position for overseeing spectrum allocation.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Jan. 4 named Steven Price as the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for spectrum and command, control and communications policy. Price will head the new office, which is responsible for establishing policy and providing direction for DOD frequency spectrum issues.

Price will report to John Stenbit, the DOD assistant secretary and chief information officer.

DOD officials said that Price's appointment is the first time spectrum issues have been raised to the senior leadership level.

As DOD's use of the electromagnetic spectrum for communications grows, the department has increasingly run into potential competition, interference and coordination requirements for international and commercial frequencies.

The private sector has been eyeing DOD's bands of spectrum, which are prime territory for third-generation, or 3G, and ultra-wideband wireless devices.

Sufficient spectrum and bandwidth is essential to network-centric warfare and information superiority, two key transformational tenets of joint operations such as Enduring Freedom, DOD officials said.

In a statement, Price said his vision is to "help DOD build a global secure wideband network, with wireless access, for warriors in the field so that bandwidth does not limit or impede U.S. military capability."

"Transforming toward a network-centric military that decentralizes decision-making by allowing access to information anytime, anywhere and without concerns of bandwidth or interoperability will help create the flexible, reliable and effective joint command and control systems that will be needed in the future," Price said.

Price, a lawyer by profession, most recently was the president and chief executive officer of LiveWire Corp., a provider of software and outsourcing services. He has degrees from Brown University and Columbia University School of Law.

He served as a special assistant to the U.S. ambassador to the START Talks, under former President Bush.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine,, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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