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FCC, NTIA announce joint WRC-03 implementation plan

The U.S. strategy to implement an international spectrum usage known as the WRC-03 plan was announced jointly last week by the FCC and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Following a meeting between FCC Chairman Michael Powell and assistant secretary of commerce and NTIA administrator Nancy Victory and their staffs, the WRC-03 implementation plan was released to guarantee that local, state and federal governments and commercial spectrum users receive the maximum benefit from the international plan.

This summer in Geneva, Switzerland, under U.N. auspices the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) considered a wide range of agenda items addressing the growth, deployment and evolving use of a wide group of spectrum-based services. These changes were adopted by WRC-2003. The joint implementation plan of the FCC and NTIA comes less than a month after the close of the Geneva meeting.

"The WRC-03 implementation plan reflects the continued cooperation and coordination between the FCC and NTIA," said Powell. "I am pleased that only weeks after the end of the Conference itself, we have developed a plan to move forward expeditiously and bring the benefits of the WRC-03 results to commercial and governmental spectrum users. The ultimate beneficiaries will be the American public through increased public safety and enhanced consumer services."

"The success of the U.S. delegation to the WRC has paved the way for new allocations of additional spectrum around the world," said Victory. "We are pleased to work closely with the FCC to initiate proceedings to implement these changes as soon as possible. Implementing the recommended changes will stimulate our economy and will help us maintain the global leadership position the U.S. has established in telecommunications and technology."

Among the items of possible interest are:

  • Fourth quarter 2003: Amendment of Parts 2, 25, and 87 of the Commission's rules to implement decisions from World Radiocommunication Conferences concerning frequency bands between 28 MHz and 36 GHz and to otherwise update the rules in this frequency range;
  • First quarter 2004: Amendment of Part 101 relating to fixed services at 37.5-43.5 GHz;
  • First quarter 2004: Omnibus proceeding to address several allocation matters resulting from WRC-03;
  • Second quarter 2004: Allocation and designation of spectrum for high density fixed-satellite and other services at 37.5-50.2 GHz;
  • Fourth quarter 2004: Regulatory and technical provisions for satellite networks using highly elliptical orbits.

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