On June 24, the Department of Commerce released two reports recommending the development of a spectrum policy for the United States in the 21st century that encourages innovation and development of new technologies to meet the nation’s changing communications needs.
The reports recommend steps designed to promote economic growth, maintain leadership in communications technology development and promote security. Further, the reports advance President George Bush’s stated goal of making affordable access to broadband technology available to all Americans by 2007.
Seen in the light of recent FCC proposals to allow unlicensed devices to share unused portions of the spectrum previously reserved for use by TV broadcasters, the reports provide insight into new spectrum issues that broadcasters may face in the future.
Among the recommendations in the two reports are:
- establishing a spectrum-sharing innovation test bed within two years;
- identifying and analyzing new technologies; and
- increasing private sector input on policy issues, including establishing a Spectrum Management Advisory Committee to develop plans on policy issues such as the transition to digital television.
The plans also address modernizing spectrum management by establishing a National Strategic Spectrum Plan and a Long-Range Spectrum Plan, and call for examining how spectrum rights could be modified to encourage deployment of spectrally efficient technologies.