Senators Call for Spectrum Inventory

from the we're-missing-one-spectrum dept

There's been a lot of talk over the years about the various studies and statistics used to measure broadband in the US. Very often the figures don't tell a completely accurate story, so there's been a push for the government to get better data as a part of the formation of a national broadband plan. It's clear, though, that wireless access will play a big part of the broadband future of the country, but it has to be handled a little differently. Wired networks can always have more capacity added, but wireless networks have the constraint of a finite amount of radio spectrum. A big part of regulators' work in enabling mobile broadband to blossom is in ensuring that spectrum is being used efficiently. This is part of the drive behind plans like the digital TV transition and the white spaces spectrum, which seek to wring more productivity out of the airwaves. But for more of these types of efforts to move forward, it's crucial to get a better handle on just how the entire spectrum is being used, so a couple of senators have introduced legislation that would have the FCC and NTIA undertake a "spectrum inventory" detailing the usage of spectrum between 300 MHz and 3.5 GHz. Hopefully this will make it clearer how much valuable spectrum is being mismanaged or hoarded, and open the door to some new licensing policies, like spectrum markets, or even just the opening of more spectrum to unlicensed use to take advantage of new technologies.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    TheStupidOne, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:49pm

    mmm unlicensed

    I do love unlicensed spectrum. so does my laptop, cordless phone, and hopefully better wide area broadband. However selling a chunk of spectrum for several billion dollars is too appealing to the government to pass up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    DCX2, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 8:56pm

    Credit where credit is due

    The Senators who have introduced the legislation are John Kerry and Olympia Snowe. If you agree with this, you should go drop them a line and say thanks for being smart! You might even want to give a donation...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 9:55pm

    Where's WH? Or do you just have a love obsession with Mike?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 10:31pm

    When I was working as a frequency manager i had a list of every authorized transmitter within about 30 miles. the people people that i got my information from have lists for every authorization in north america. this survey shouldn't bee too hard. (granted some of my info was wildly inaccurate when i first started but by the time i left it was mostly correct)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 3:47am

    "just the opening of more spectrum to unlicensed use to take advantage of new technologies."

    You would have to think that this type of survey would be more in line with getting ready to auction off more space to raise money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 4:33am


    We all have access to that, it's the FCC website.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Dave, Mar 24th, 2009 @ 6:53am


    Considering how fast the US gov't is racking up deficit and debt, I can see the need for the auctions.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Steve R. (profile), Mar 24th, 2009 @ 9:07am

    Need Transparancy on What Spectrum Licensing Means

    In following this debate, I have not seen a real disclosure of what will be licensed off. All I've been hearing are the empty buzz words that the spectrum should not be in government ownership so that private industry can innovate and take advantage of new technologies. Well, innovation and the lack of regulation allowed a lot of "innovation" in the financial sector that "proves" that the private sector lacks competence itself.

    I am not against the LICENSING of spectrum, where the US government holds the spectrum in trust for the benefit of the American people. What I would be opposed to is the unspoken "land grab" of spectrum by private entities.

    Also many people who seen to favor the "land grab" model do not seem to disclose the full implications of what this would mean. For example, would you now be required to license, for a fee, your currently free wifi router in your home?????

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Man from Atlanta, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re:

    Help me here because I don't do that much FCC work. I can go look at the licenses, but I have not seen where the FCC posts which licenses are going unused, or are considered "hoarded" spectrum. Is there some public reporting on license use?

    I don't mind a review of spectrum, so long as it comes with some intelligent review and willingness to change the allocation and auction process. Not holding my breath . . .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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