Bush proposes spectrum management plan

The White House fact sheet on spectrum management

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President Bush announced today an initiative to improve the management of radio frequency spectrum to keep pace with the expanding technologies.

The spectrum policy initiative is intended balance the often competing interests of promoting economic growth, ensuring national security, and satisfying public safety, research and transportation infrastructure needs, according to White House officials.

"Recent years have witnessed an explosion of spectrum-based technologies and uses of wireless and voice data communication systems," a White House memo issued today said. "The existing legal and policy framework for spectrum management has not kept pace with the dramatic changes in technology and spectrum use."

The initiative, chaired by the Commerce Department, includes two actions: the development of an interagency federal spectrum task force and the convening of a series of public meetings.

The task force, made up of the heads of more than a dozen agencies, will provide recommendations for improving management policies to increase the efficiency of spectrum use by the federal government.

The meetings will focus on spectrum use by state and local governments and the private sector.

Within one year, the Commerce secretary will provide recommendations to:

* Facilitate a modernized spectrum management system.

* Facilitate policy changes to create incentives to increase the efficiency of spectrum use.

* Develop policies for deploying new technologies.

* Develop a way to address the spectrum needs of national security, public safety, transportation infrastructure and science.

There are more than 140 million wireless phone customers, and businesses are increasing the installation of Wi-Fi systems for wireless computing, White House officials said. The government uses spectrum for radars, communications, geolocation and space operations.

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