The Plan – 500 Megahertz of Spectrum over the Next Ten Years for Expanded Wireless Broadband
NTIA, with input from the Policy and Plans Steering Group (PPSG), produced a Ten-Year Plan and Timetable (hereafter referred to as the Plan) to meet the President’s 500 megahertz goal. The Plan, dated October 2010, identified steps to determine candidate bands, to assess their feasibility, and to identify the actions necessary to make spectrum available for broadband wireless services. The Plan also described the processes and timetable for executive branch actions in support of the Administration’s goal. Fully implemented, the Plan requires consideration of a number of factors, including technical and operational considerations of Federal systems and non-Federal broadband wireless systems, the costs to evaluate and implement sharing methods or relocate Federal systems, and the identification of comparable spectrum for relocating an incumbent system. The Plan also takes into account the Presidential Memorandum’s statement that “the plan and timetable must take into account the need to ensure no loss of critical existing and planned Federal, State, local, and tribal government capabilities, the international implications, and the need for enforcement mechanisms and authorities.”
NTIA selected and ranked six blocks of spectrum for priority consideration for re-purposing to non-Federal use for FCC-licensed wireless broadband systems:
1. 1755 – 1850 MHz
2. 1695 – 1710 MHz
3. 406.1 – 420 MHz
4. 1370 – 1390 MHz
5. 4200 – 4400 MHz
6. 3500 – 3650 MHz
On January 28, 2011, NTIA selected 1755-1850 MHz as the first block for detailed evaluation of the possibility of repurposing for wireless broadband. NTIA chose this spectrum for several reasons, including the nature of current Federal agency use of the spectrum, the likelihood of successfully repurposing within ten years, the international harmonization with mobile operations, the existence of mature wireless equipment, and the spectrum’s advantageous propagation characteristics for mobile operations. To assist the Federal agencies in conducting their evaluation, NTIA developed a set of spectrum for potential comparable spectrum for relocation from 1755-1850 MHz, and provided the set to the Federal agencies for review and analysis. NTIA continues to conduct technical analyses on 1755-1850 MHz and comparable spectrum bands and plans to complete the detailed evaluation of this band by September 30, 2011.
On January 19, 2011, in furtherance of the Fast Track recommendations, NTIA formally recommended to the FCC that it take regulatory action to repurpose the 1695-1710 MHz and 3550-3650 MHz bands for wireless broadband use on a shared basis.8 On March 8, 2011, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on the steps the Commission could best promote wireless broadband deployment for these bands. NTIA is also pursuing repurposing the 4200-4400 MHz band and 1695-1710 MHz band as part of a proposal for a broad agenda item on broadband wireless access for the WRC-2016. In conjunction, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is conducting a technical analysis of the 4200-4400 MHz band with assistance from the affected Federal agencies.
NTIA, together with the Federal agencies and the PPSG, is working to implement the Plan in accordance with the Plan timelines. Pursuant to the Fast Track Evaluation, NTIA has recommended to the FCC that it act to make 1695-1710 MHz and 3550-3650 MHz bands available for wireless broadband use on a shared basis. In addition, the FAA has begun technical analyses of the entire 4200-4400 MHz band with technical assistance and input from other the affected Federal agencies and NTIA will continue to pursue a proposal for a broad agenda item at WRC-2016 on broadband wireless access to include the 4200-4400 MHz band and the 1695-1710 MHz band. For the overall Plan, FCC is working closely with and updating PPSG members on regulatory actions and the FCC may seek public input as appropriate on non-Federal system requirements/characteristics and public comment on those candidate bands sufficiently early in the process to allow time to complete allocation and service rulemaking proceedings. Follow-on necessary FCC actions may include modifying the Allocation Table, service rule-makings, promulgating incumbent relocation policy and requirements and auction rules where appropriate. The Office of Management and Budget has inserted proposals in the FY 2012 Budget to provide more flexibility to the Spectrum Relocation Fund to create a more efficient relocation process. NTIA has developed a work plan and guidelines for the Federal agencies via the PPSG and PPSG-SWG for the 1755-1850 MHz band study to aid completion of the detailed evaluation for the 1755-1850 MHz by September 30, 2011. Each of the above actions will contribute to making 500 MHz of spectrum available for mobile and fixed wireless broadband in ten years. (source www.ntia.doc.gov)
What is the NTIA ?
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is an agency in the U.S. Department of Commerce that serves as the executive branch agency principally responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information policies. In this role, NTIA frequently works with other Executive Branch agencies to develop and present the Administration’s position on these issues. Since its creation in 1978, NTIA has been at the cutting edge of critical issues. In addition to representing the Executive Branch in both domestic and international telecommunications and information policy activities, NTIA also manages the Federal use of spectrum; performs cutting-edge telecommunications research and engineering, including resolving technical telecommunications issues for the Federal government and private sector; and administers infrastructure and public telecommunications facilities grants.
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