Genachowski: Spectrum Inventory Underway

FCC coordinating with NTIA in advance of vote
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FCC
Chairman Julius Genachowski says the FCC has already begun to create an
inventory of "existing spectrum allocation, assignment, and
utilization."

That
came in a letter to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
July 14 in response to the Senator's request that it begin a comprehensive
survey.

Genachowski
said that in response to Rockefeller's request, he has met with National
Telecommunications & Information Administration chief Lawrence Strickling.
NTIA oversees government spectrum.

He
said the two had agreed to coordinate on a comprehensive inventory.

A
bill that would mandate just such an inventory by both FCC and NTIA has already
passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.

Genachowski
pointed to the FCC's creation of an online "spectrum dashboard" that
provides information to the public about spectrum use and users, but added
that, "on a broader level, we have established a Spectrum Task Force, a
cross-agency working group charged with coordinating critical activities
necessary to achieve our spectrum policy goals. We have also undertaken various
targeted initiatives to remove barriers to using spectrum for wireless
broadband and increase spectrum flexibility. This includes efforts to develop
methods of measurement of spectrum utilization."

The
FCC is scheduled to vote on a proposal to free spectrum in the mobile satellite
services band for terrestrial broadband, and is expected in the next couple of
months to begin the process of reclaiming 120 MHz of broadcast spectrum for the
same purpose. "Unleashing spectrum will unleash investment and help build
an enduring engine of job creation," Genachowski said in his letter,
echoing an economic stimulus theme that has become a consistent message across
federal agencies.

Some
top legislators have signaled that the FCC and NTIA need to do an inventory of
who is using what spectrum how efficiently before they get too far down the
road with those plans.

The
letter comes only a couple of days before top legislators are expected to talk
about spectrum at the latest in a series of Hill meetings on how telecom policy
needs to be revamped in the wake of the digital/broadband revolution.

"I am very pleased the Chairman has indicated his intention to proceed with an inventory of commercial spectrum in the US," said Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker--herself a former NTIA chief--in a statement. "I fully support this important initiative. I believe a comprehensive commercial spectrum inventory is critical to the development of spectrum policies to drive innovation, investment and deployment of state-of-the art-wireless networks and technologies in the coming years. I also hope that the inventory can be completed as quickly as possible and form the foundation for a comprehensive spectrum database. I will seek to ensure that the inventory's outputs are coordinated with and useful to other government agencies and especially that they are easily accessible to potential innovators and entrepreneurs."

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