Connect with us

Spectrum

Obama Launches Plan for More Efficient Federal Spectrum Use, Trumpets Improvements in Broadband Over Past Four Years

Published

on

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2013 – President Barack Obama on Friday introduced several new initiatives to facilitate more efficient use of radio-frequency spectrum in order to encourage further development of wireless broadband.

In addition to investments totaling to $100 million in the development of spectrum-sharing technologies and advanced communications, Obama also directed federal agencies to make more efficient use of radio frequencies.

The president’s memorandum instructed agencies to focus on using their spectrum assets more efficiently – in order to make a greater capacity available for consumers and businesses. The memorandum highlights the importance of partnerships between the public and private sectors.

The agencies are to collaborate with private corporations in order to take advantage of their expertise and to give these companies a voice in this process. The administration also called on agencies to engage in greater data-sharing and increased public-private research and development.

A hallmark of the initiative is the creation of a Spectrum Policy Team with the power to oversee the implementation of the new instruction and make recommendations on how federal agencies approach and improve the accuracy of their reporting on spectrum usage.

Data-sharing is being encouraged. Within six months, the Spectrum Policy Team, along with the Department of Justice and several other federal agencies, are to create and implement policies for sharing any spectrum information deemed sensitive.

The administration also announced major investments in developing new wireless technologies. The National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are to issue millions of dollars in grants and contracts.

Additionally, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology of the Department of Commerce are to invest $17.5 million in spectrum and other advanced communications technology, as well as encouraging collaboration between public and private sectors at federal laboratories.

NTIA and NIST will also co-host a Spectrum Technology Day. The event will highlight technological advances being made in the communications field to satisfy the growing demand for spectrum.

Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said,

“Today’s Presidential Memorandum will enable us to meet the challenge of unleashing spectrum for commercial use while also ensuring more efficient use of spectrum.”

Former Representative Rick Boucher, a Democrat of Virginia, who is now honorary chair of the Internet Innovation Alliance, also gave support to the initiative but noted that it was only one step of a much larger process.

“What is urgently needed is a concerted effort to have large swaths of government-owned and underutilized spectrum repurposed for commercial auction,” he said.

Brian Dietz, vice president of communications and digital strategy for the National Cable and Telecommunications Associations, praised the initiative.

“We appreciate the President’s direction to Federal agencies to work with commercial stakeholders on spectrum sharing and other collaborative means of bringing additional licensed and unlicensed spectrum to market,” Dietz said.

The Obama administration also released a report entitled “Four Years of Broadband Growth.” The report describes the current state of broadband in the United States and identifies the key challenges to future growth.

Since 2009, the percentage of homes reached by high-speed broadband has grown from less that 20 percent to more than 80 percent, and average broadband speeds have doubled during that time. Additionally, the percentage of households receiving broadband services has grown from four percent in 2000 to 67 percent in 2010.

According to the report, a significant amount of this growth can be attributed to private investment, which grew by 40 percent between 2009 and 2012.

Despite these improvements, the report identifies broadband adoption and usage as a major problem. Approximately 29 percent of Americans do not have a broadband connection at home, despite the fact that most have access. High cost and lack of relevance are two major causes of this lack of adoption, according to the report. The report also notes the disparity in access between urban and rural areas, particularly at higher speeds.

A release issued by NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association, praised the report’s accuracy in describing successes in broadband development and highlighting the challenges that still remain.

“While it’s good to recognize how far we’ve come, this report also highlights how far we have to go—and the risks we face if rural broadband investment can’t be put back on track soon through sensible universal service policies,” said Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA.

Josh Evans is a political science major at Grove City College. He is originally from Dover, Florida. An intern at the National Journalism Center in the summer of 2013, he is a Reporter for Broadband Census News and the News Editor for The Collegian at Grove City College.

Spectrum

More Experts Weigh In On Possibility 12 GHz Band Can Be Shared with 5G Services

More experts weight in on the debate about whether the 12 GHz band can coexist with 5G operations.

Published

on

Michael Calabrese, director of the Wireless Future Project at New America’s Open Technology Institute

WASHINGTON, November 9, 2021 – Experts at the New America Open Technology Institute last week suggested that the 12 Gigahertz band can be shared with 5G wireless services and argued that the big-name proponent that says it can’t has allegedly not produced evidence saying otherwise.

The Federal Communications Commission, studying the sharing possibility, has fielded comments from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has argued that the 12 GHz band used by satellite services, cannot be shared with 5G wireless providers because of interference problems. On the other hand, providers like RS Access have argued that it can, using a technical study from RKF Engineering to demonstrate as such.

At a New America Open Technology Institute event on November 2, Kathleen Burke, policy counsel at internet advocacy group Public Knowledge, alleged SpaceX hasn’t submitted any studies showing it’s not possible to share spectrum.

Burke said SpaceX has no engineering analysis supporting its claim that the band could not be shared. “Incumbents are not open to sharing spectrum” she said, alleging a strong desire for SpaceX to win exclusive use licenses for its satellite venture.

“The evidence demonstrates it is possible to share this band,” she added.

Nicol Turner-Lee, director of the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution, said that it’s worth looking at innovations in satellite. “When we come up with a solution for the digital divide, shared spectrum use [of the 12GHz band] has always been on the palate,” she said.

“The question is, can we get along when there’s so many people that are disconnected,” she added. “This may not be picking winners and losers and more about getting everyone on board…no one should hog the spectrum if it’s at the expense of communities that need it most.”

Mid-band crucial for 5G

Michael Calabrese, director of the Wireless Future Project at New America’s Open Technology Institute, said that the 500 megahertz of mid-band spectrum on the 12GHz band offers more speed and potential than any other mid-band spectrum being considered by the FCC. Using the 12Ghz band for 5G and authorizing the band for open shared access could “promote more competition, enhance the benefits of next-generation Wi-Fi, and help address the digital divide,” he said.

The RKF engineering study concluded that Starlink’s SpaceX low-earth orbit satellite terminals can reject 5G signals; technology used by mobile wireless networks will direct energy toward handsets, not satellite terminals; and 5G networks will largely be used in higher population areas while Starlink will target mostly rural areas.

Continue Reading

Spectrum

House Democrats Introduce Bill to Free Up Mid-Band Spectrum for Auction, Flexible Use

The bill would ensure adequate mid-band spectrum is available for commercial use to expand broadband availability.

Published

on

Congresswoman Doris Matsui, D-California.

WASHINGTON, September 30, 2021 – Reps. Mike Doyle, D-Pennsylvania, and Doris Matsui, D-California, have introduced a bill that would free up new airwaves for wireless broadband use by the public, which the representatives claim would mean faster speeds and more responsive networks.

The Spectrum Innovation Act, unveiled Wednesday and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on which Doyle is the chairman, will “make available additional frequencies in the 3.1-3.45 GHz band for non-Federal use, shared Federal and non-Federal use, or a combination thereof, and for other purposes.”

The bill comes after Congressman Doyle told Broadband Breakfast last month that spectrum provisions in the Senate-passed infrastructure bill – which is slated to be voted on in the House on Thursday – deviated from the “traditional process” and that he planned to “look at that.”

Among the spectrum rules outlined in the infrastructure bill is the ability of federal officials to seek out spectrum frequencies for federal use, and to shovel money from the Spectrum Relocation Fund toward to the Defense Department for the “purpose of research and development, engineering studies, economic analysis, activities with respect to systems, or other planning activities.”

The affected spectrum in this case would be the 3.1 to 3.45 GigaHertz (GHz) band, a key mid-band series of radio frequencies that includes some federal users, that is the subject of this new bill.

“In addition to up to 200 megahertz of spectrum auctioned for mobile broadband, this bill will help usher in new, innovative wireless uses through opportunistic and other flexible spectrum uses,” Congressman Doyle said.

“For the United States to remain the pacesetter in wireless broadband, we must continue to ensure innovators have a reliable spectrum pipeline,” said congresswoman Matsui in a press release Wednesday.

“We stand at a pivotal moment in the development and deployment of next generation networks; the Spectrum Innovation Act will unleash the economic potential of this valuable mid-band spectrum and give us the tools necessary to meet the communications challenges of tomorrow,” she added.

The bill would require that an investigation be launched into even more frequencies within the bandwidth that could potentially be freed up and sold at auction.

A number of industry associations and public advocacy groups praised the bill.

“The Spectrum Innovation Act of 2021 will greatly benefit consumers by making a very large band of prime spectrum available to help fuel the world’s most robust 5G wireless ecosystem,” said Public Knowledge and the Open Technology Institute at New America in a joint statement.

“We commend Chairman Doyle and Representative Matsui for taking a holistic approach that recognizes the value of making spectrum available both by auction and through shared use by smaller broadband providers, schools, critical infrastructure and literally thousands of individual enterprises on a local basis. This is the policy framework for mid-band spectrum that is most likely to spur 5G competition and innovation, while also ensuring that critical military radar systems can continue to use the band without undue risk of harmful interference.”

The NCTA — Internet and Television Association and the Cellular Telecommunication and Internet Association also came out to voice support for the bill.

Continue Reading

Spectrum

Dish Requests Temporary Authority to Use 600 MegaHertz Band Licenses for 5G Test in Las Vegas and Denver

Dish said it needs non-contiguous 600 MHz band licenses to test open-RAN 5G network in two markets.

Published

on

Dish President and CEO Erik Carlson

WASHINGTON, September 9, 2021 – Dish Network is asking the Federal Communications Commission to grant it a temporary license to use 600 MegaHertz (MHz) spectrum band licenses owned by another licensee for 5G tests in Las Vegas and Denver.

Dish said in a Wednesday submission to the FCC that Bluewater Wireless II, the owner of the 600 MHz spectrum band in question, has consented to allow Dish to use the spectrum under a regime called a special temporary authority.

Dish said it requires Bluewater’s spectrum licenses in the two cities to test and validate equipment for its 5G broadband network, using open radio access network technologies. The company said it needs the licenses to test carrier aggregation, where using its own licenses would be insufficient, because the two spectrum blocks cannot be contiguous.

“DISH anticipates needing more low-band spectrum in some markets to meet customer demand in the future,” the company said in its submission. “When and if additional 600 MHz spectrum becomes available, either when the Commission auctions unassigned spectrum or through future partnerships, DISH plans to use carrier aggregation at the market level to combine multiple 600 MHz assets to add capacity and improve data throughput speeds.”

“Grant of this STA will deliver important public interest benefits,” the company added. “In particular, the STA will enable DISH to put to use certain spectrum licensed to Bluewater that is not yet deployed.”

The test will end no later than the end of this year and the spectrum will only be used for testing and not for commercial purposes, Bluewater added in a letter to the FCC consenting to the arrangement.

The Denver-based company said it completed its first fully open RAN-compliant network communication in December 2020.

Dish announced that it was taking sign-ups for its 5G service in June, with the first city to get its so-called Project Gene5is being Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dish secured mobile wireless assets in a deal that allowed T-Mobile to absorb Sprint and entered the market in 2020 with the purchase of Boost Mobile and Ting Mobile. Dish has been widely expected to deliver wireless service that would add competition back in after the acquisition of Sprint.

The company announced this month that it is also purchasing Gen Mobile, a pre-paid and low-cost mobile service company, through its Boost brand.

Earlier this year, Boost bundled its K Health telehealth service in with its mobile service.

Continue Reading

Recent

Signup for Broadband Breakfast

Get twice-weekly Breakfast Media news alerts.
* = required field

Trending