Broadband Spectrum Feedback Sought
September 28, 2009
The FCC set its comment period for broadband spectrum allocation. The
commission is seeking feedback on whether its current spectrum allocations will
be sufficient for a national broadband
“Specifically, participants in the proceeding have raised the issue that the
United States will not have sufficient spectrum available to meet demands for
wireless broadband in the near future,” the commission’s notice stated.
“Therefore, we seek additional comment on the fundamental question of whether
current spectrum allocations, including but not limited to the prime bands
below 3.7 GHz, are adequate to support near- and longer-term demands of
The FCC previously issued a Notice of Inquiry regarding its national broadband
plan; it’s generated around 240 comments so far. Feedback from the wireless
industry focuses on the projected growth of cell-phone use. The industry
currently has around 270 million subscribers. Motorola said 78 percent have
devices that can access the Internet. About 40 million do so, up 75 percent
from two years ago. The emerging smart devices are bigger bandwidth hogs as
well. Current handhelds are estimated to use about 30 MB of data per month;
smart phones consume around 30 times that much, and laptops, about 450 times
more. The comments go on to say that U.S. spectrum allocation for wireless
service “compares poorly” with other first-world nations.
The FCC wants technical feedback on what its current spectrum allocations will
support, including backhaul; what bands are best for mobile wireless broadband;
what bands are best for fixed wireless broadband; key public-interest issues in
Comments are due Oct. 13, with replies due by Nov. 13. All comments should refer
to GN Docket Nos. 09-47, 09-51, and 09-137, and can be submitted through the
FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System.
(Image by Aram Armstrong)
More on RF spectrum allocation and
Sept. 17, 2009: “Legislators Press for
It’s rare to get agreement across party lines on Capitol Hill, but that was the
case this morning when it came to radio frequency spectrum. Legislators and
regulators alike agreed that an inventory was in order.
July 13, 2009: “Boucher Proffers House
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have rolled out a bill that would
initiate a radio spectrum inventory. The measure would direct the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Federal Communication
Commission to do a comprehensive survey of the spectrum.
April 10, 2009: “National
Broadband Plan Includes Wireless and TV White Spaces”
With regards to TV “white space”, the Notice of Inquiry asks, “Given the
importance to wireless broadband services of backhaul to the PSTN and the
Internet, how can this spectrum be maximized to provide point-to-point backhaul
in rural areas?
February 6, 2009: “Boeing Receives Experimental
License in TV Broadcast Spectrum”
The WE2XVQ experimental license issued to the Boeing Company allows
operation in the 200 MHz to 224 MHz, 400 MHz to 405 MHz, 421 MHz to 607 MHz and
615 MHz to 930 MHz bands for “testing and analysis of software defined radio
(SDR) equipment” in Berkeley, Mo. These bands include broadcast TV VHF channels
11, 12 and 13 and all UHF TV channels except 37.