WASHINGTON, July 2, 2019 — Allocating more radio-frequency spectrum to smaller providers will make the most difference in helping America to close the digital divide, said speakers at last week’s summit of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance.
The summit brought together policymakers, regulators, academia, and private sector leaders to discuss the concept of “dynamic sharing” of spectrum.
C-Spire Technology Strategist Ivy Kelly emphasized the role that such spectrum allocation would play in closing the broadband gap.
Wisper Internet CEO Nathan Stooke added that policymakers need to understand that fixed wireless is a real solution. Although big cell service providers often say they need to be sold more spectrum, over 70 percent of all cellular traffic occurs over Wi-Fi.
Fixed wireless operators provide service to almost four million subscribers, Stooke said. Making policies that are favorable towards small operators will ensure quick deployment.
Enabling dynamic spectrum sharing is key to closing the digital divide, said DSA President Martha Suárez, pointing out that while other technologies will be required, they aren’t enough.
Spectrum sharing enables radio communications devices to opportunistically transmit over available radio spectrum, making sure that consumers have consistent access to wireless bandwidth.
This available spectrum often consists of TV white spaces, which are unused or unassigned frequencies in television broadcast bands. Not all channels are used for broadcasting in every given market, creating white spaces that can be used for other purposes.
Utilizing TV white space is a “cheap and easy” solution, said Tim Genders, COO of Project Isizwe. Stooke agreed, saying that it could be an effective alternative to wireless and fiber.
Dynamic spectrum sharing provides a third option in addition to unlicensed and licensed spectrum, said Suárez. If implemented correctly, it will protect incumbents while maximizing broadband capacity and coverage for consumers.
According to the DSA, dynamic spectrum sharing will lower barriers to market entry and help solve the problem of a spectrum shortage. Spectrum sharing technologies are already well-tested and ready to deploy, so the main barrier to widespread implementation is legislative.
The most helpful thing that policymakers can do is to open up more spectrum in the 6 GigaHertz band, Suárez said. The band’s wider channels would make it advantage for broadband delivery.
(Photo of panel at DSA Global Summit by Emily McPhie.)
- Breakfast Media Minute: September 23, 2020
- Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 — Champions of Broadband: Robert McDowell
- Ajit Pai on Tribal Broadband, Defense Department’s 5G Network, Mobilitie at Daley Center, New Register of Copyrights
- CEO Greg Mesch Recounts How CityFibre, UK’s Third Major Telecom Provider, Grew With Wholesale Network
- Coronavirus Pandemic Renders Small Businesses More Reliant on Digital E-Commerce Platforms Than Ever Before
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Fiber4 months ago
Fiber Networks Hold a Cybersecurity Advantage Over Rival Co-Axial and Wireless Technologies, Say Panelists
Congress4 months ago
Senators Introduce Healthcare Broadband Bill as House Companion, Proposes $2 Billion Telehealth Expansion
Artificial Intelligence3 months ago
Brookings Panelists Emphasize Importance of Addressing Biases in Artificial Intelligence Technology
China5 months ago
China Expert Predicts that Nation’s Flawed Coronavirus Response Will Damage the Power of Chinese Communist Party
Infrastructure6 months ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online Will Stream Every Wednesday at 12 Noon ET on ‘Broadband and the Coronavirus’
Education6 months ago
Online Elementary Education is No Spring Break for Parents Teaching from Home
Artificial Intelligence3 months ago
U.S. State Department Employing Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19 Misinformation
Rural5 months ago
Why the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is So Significant, and How to Succeed in Applying For RDOF