White House Pushes DARPA Spectrum-Sharing Initiative
White House operatives are ballyhooing a U.S. Defense
Department initiative to fund new spectrum-sharing technologies. Lawrence
Strickling of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and
Tom Power with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, say the
effort will “boost” the president’s goal to deploy high-speed wireless
broadband across the country.
“Spectrum sharing can
take a number of forms, some of which are technologically mature and others of
which are still developing,” they co-wrote on the NTIA
and the White
House tech blog sites. “To stimulate investment in more advanced forms of
spectrum sharing, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is soliciting
innovative research proposals aimed at efficient and reliable sharing of
spectrum between radar and communications systems.”
DARPA published a presolicitation notice on the program Feb. 21: “Proposed
research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary
advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research
that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of
Among those on the “Interested Vendors List,” are Photonics Systems of
Billerica, Mass.; Shared Spectrum Co., of Vienna, Va.; Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University of Blacksburg, Va.; North Point Defense, of
Rome, N.y.; Tennessee Technical University of Cookeville, Tenn.; and Comsearch
Government Solutions of Ashburn, Va.
The program may fund multi-year projects to either modify existing radar
systems or come up with new ones.
“Sharing is just one tool for promoting more robust and efficient broadband
networks; full maximization of spectrum may also require broader policy and
regulatory changes,” wrote Strickling and Power, both of whom have been mentioned
as potential candidates to take over the Federal Communications Commission when
Julius Genachowski steps down, which as of yet remains conjecture.