NTIA wants agencies to review spectrum

radio spectrum 

The federal spectrum manager on Aug. 1 asked agencies to review some of their spectrum holdings to more precisely define uses and footprints as the National Telecommunications and Information Administration moves to create a long-term spectrum policy.

The latest guidance from NTIA acting head Diane Rinaldo said agencies should review their allocations in the 3100-3550 MHz and 7125-8400 MHz bands. The 3100-3550 MHz band is allocated mostly to radio location, radio navigation and space research and satellite uses. Allocations in the 7125-8400 MHz band are used by fixed satellite and other satellite applications.

As commercial and federal wireless applications skyrocket, NTIA, a Commerce Department agency that oversees federal spectrum, and the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees commercial spectrum allocations, have been looking for ways to share and reallocate spectrum for both federal and commercial uses.

Last October, the White House issued a memo that said the federal government should begin assessing federal spectrum needs for the next 15 years to optimize use of the limited resource.

NTIA's Aug. 1 memo follows another last November from then NTIA-Administrator David Redl asking for an initial federal agency spectrum assessment under the White House directive.

That process has sometimes been contentious. Redl unexpectedly resigned from NTIA in May after reported administration in-fighting over how federal spectrum is allocated.

NTIA said agencies with allocations in those bandwidths should report back on their uses of the spectrum over the next six to nine months. The agency said it would then ask for input from agencies and stakeholders on the next set of spectrum it wants to review.

The NTIA said it wants more precise data on frequency assignments from within the two sets. That data, it said, will be used to update or develop future outlines for use. Agencies, said the memo, should continue to review their spectrum allocations and look for ways to more efficiently determine their uses.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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