National Telecommunications and Information Administration head Larry Strickling told the House Small Business Committee that it should be finished with its agency-by-agency survey of possible spectrum sharing between the government and private industry by January.
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) prompted Strickling's timetable by asking for his and FCC chairman Julius Genachowski's thoughts about the benefits of clearing vs. sharing.
That came in a hearing on the impact of broadband on small businesses, Strickling said NTIA had been dealing with some 30 different government agencies and over 3,000 separate government spectrum allocations as it looked for ways to free up spectrum for mobile broadband per the President's order to find 500 MHz in the private and government sectors within the next decade.
NTIA oversees government spectrum use much as the FCC does private, and has been working with the FCC to find spectrum.
Genachowski, who also testified at the hearing, said that clearing as well as sharing must be part of the equation. Strickling made the point that if the government had to clear all the spectrum it freed up, which would include finding new homes for all those agencies and allocations, it would take 10 years and $18 billion. He said that was too much time and money, which was why sharing "was the path we need to go."