Feds to carriers: Let’s share the airwaves


Updated. Federal spectrum managers on Tuesday recommended that a huge chunk of spectrum used by the 20 government agencies be made available to commercial mobile operations – a move that is sure to please carriers claiming to be strapped for airwaves. But those same operators may not be so enthusiastic about the details of proposal.

Instead of clearing the 1755-1850 MHz block of all government transmitters, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is recommending that federal agencies and mobile operators share the airwaves, splitting time over the same frequencies between commercial and government use.

U.S. Assistant Commerce Secretary and NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling said that their 3,100 individual spectrum assignments in that 95 MHz block, allocated to everything from Department of Homeland Security border surveillance to U.S. Army tactical communications. While the NTIA identified several microwave communications blocks that could be easily be cleared, the cost and time to…

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