Spectrum inventory already underway at FCC

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski revealed last week that the commission is creating an inventory of “existing spectrum allocation, assignment and utilization.” The goal is to find areas of the spectrum not in use (aka “squatters”) or that is being used inefficiently.

The news came in a letter Genachowski wrote to Senate Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-WV, in response to the Senator’s request that it begin a comprehensive survey. The chairman told Rockefeller he had already met with Lawrence Strickling, head of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), about coordinating the inventory.

The NTIA oversees spectrum for the government. Legislation requiring such an inventory has already passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.

Genachowski noted the FCC’s creation of an online “spectrum dashboard” that provides information to the public about spectrum use and users. He also noted the FCC has established a Spectrum Task Force, a cross-agency working group charged with coordinating critical activities necessary to achieve the commission’s spectrum policy goals.

The FCC is expected in the next couple of months to begin the process of reclaiming 120MHz of broadcast spectrum. “Unleashing spectrum will unleash investment and help build an enduring engine of job creation,” Genachowski said in his letter.