Shared spectrum report due in May

NTIA Office of Spectrum Management

A steering group established to find ways for broadband technologies to share the airwaves is due to submit a report in May that will set a course for federal regulators, said John Kneuer, deputy assistant secretary at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

As wireless broadband devices proliferate, the airwaves become more crowded. Regulators need technologies and policies to keep the devices from interfering with each other, Kneuer said, speaking at the Wireless/RFID Conference and Exhibition in Washington D.C. The conference is produced by the e-Gov Institute, an FCW Media Group organization.

Two task forces, one comprised of federal officials and the other drawing from state and local governments and the private sector, have weighed in with their own reports and a total of 24 policy recommendations, Kneuer said.

The Policy and Plans Steering Group, made up of officials from 10 agencies, began meeting in January. The group's creation came in response to a November executive memorandum from President Bush directing agency leaders to implement the president's Spectrum Policy Initiative.

"The new technologies offer as much promise to government as they do to private industry," Kneuer said.

Interoperability will be a cornerstone of any policy recommendations, he added. Agency officials have been in unusual agreement on the issues, he said.

"Even the times there are disagreements between agencies, they're the expected ones," he said.

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