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Freeing Federal Spectrum

March 27, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

It seems that the ice is beginning to melt around federal spectrum allocations in the 1755-1850 MHz band. Civilian agencies are generally working in the right spirit toward the national goal, and military and law enforcement agencies are beginning to recognize that their extravagant historical claims on spectrum rights need to be scaled back, even if they’re not entirely happy about it.

This exercise can be judged effective only if the total amount of government spectrum is sharply reduced; simply moving government agencies from one prime spot below 3 GHz to another is actually a failure. Agencies should also realize that they serve the public by performing their roles to the best of their abilities, and these roles do not generally include network operations. The DOD is strangely lacking in enthusiasm for the software-defined radio technology it pioneered. There’s a story there that needs to be told, I fear.