News in Brief

Spectrum auction yields billions, CFPB signs IT deal, TIGER turns 25 and more

image of man holding mobile device with world map and satellite dish in background

Spectrum auction meets FirstNet funding threshold

At least $30 billion in bids have been recorded one week into the Federal Communications Commission's Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-3) spectrum auction.

The auction covers 65 megahertz of spectrum, including the 1755-1780 MHz swath that was ceded by the Department of Defense, after years of negotiations. This spectrum, paired with downlink frequencies in the 2155-2180 MHz band, will give the winning bidder access to highly coveted spectrum that is harmonized internationally for commercial use -- something in demand among the big mobile carriers.

The robust bidding also means that FirstNet, the planned nationwide broadband public safety communications network, will receive $7 billion in funding as called for in legislation. "I am thrilled that the auction has so far netted ... enough to fully fund FirstNet," said Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), a longtime supporter of the project.

CFPB is scaling out its IT infrastructure

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has awarded a $7 million contract for IT infrastructure services to systems integrator Unisys.

The services will help CFPB respond to public demand for consumer safety information, while accommodating the growing use of mobile devices and other emerging technologies, Unisys said.

The contract was awarded under NASA’s Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) IV contract, and has a one-year base period and four one-year options.

Unisys, using Amazon Web Services, will provide licensing, advisory support and optional consulting services as program manager under the contract.

The long shelf life of Census' TIGER data

The Census Bureau's TIGER (Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing) data sets were created to help manage the 1990 census. But a quarter-century later, GCN reports, the "first nationwide digital map of roads, boundaries and waterways" still plays a central role in the ecosystem of geographic information system technologies. The U.S. Geological Survey plans to use TIGER data as the primary source of road mapping data for its new National Map Viewer and Topo digital mapping applications.

Northrop Grumman gets new CTO

Northrop Grumman has appointed longtime employee Patrick Antkowiak as chief technology officer and corporate vice president, the Falls Church, Va.-based defense firm announced Nov. 20. He will be in charge of developing the firm’s technology strategy and liaising with the technology divisions of Northrop Grumman’s customers, among other duties.

Antkowiak’s most recent position with the firm was vice president and general manager of the Advanced Concepts and Technologies Division in the Electronic Systems sector.

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