NTIA Finds 115 Mhz for Wireless Broadband

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Keeping with the "spectrum day" theme in Washington, National Telecommunications & Information Administration chief Lawrence Strickling said Thursday the group has turned up 115 MHz of spectrum from government users that can be reclaimed for wireless broadband use. NTIA oversees government spectrum use.

That announcement came the same day the Federal Communications Commission announced the rule change proposals to help it recover 300 MHz of spectrum within five years, including about 120 MHz from broadcasters. The FCC and NTIA are working together to find 500 MHz for wireless broadband over the next 10 years.

Strickling, speaking at a Federal Communications Bar Association luncheon, pointed out that President Obama had required NTIA to report back by Oct. 1 on where more spectrum could be found. Through what he called a fast-track analysis, NTIA was able to find 115 MHz to reallocate from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (15 MHz from spectrum used mostly by weather satellites and balloons) and the Defense Department (100 MHz from spectrum used for naval radar).

That will not require moving any of the current users of the bands, he said, which is different from the FCC's plan for broadcasters, who will have to give up, move off of, or share, some of their spectrum.

NTIA also indentified another band with potential spectrum to reclaim, but since it is used for altimeters on commercial aircraft, it will need international regulatory approval, which he said could not happen at the earliest until 2016.

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