Originally posted on Gigaom:
The President’s Council of Advisors on Policy and Technology wants the Obama administration to get aggressive about making more spectrum available for commercial use. It’s not only advising the government double to 1000 MHz the amount of federal spectrum being targeted for new mobile and wireless networks, but also to make a good portion of those airwaves shared.
Such a policy would allow federal agencies to keep using their airwaves, divvying up access at different times and places to commercial users. It’s an ambitious proposal, but it’s one carriers aren’t going to like very much. Carrier trade group CTIA has already expressed skepticism that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s proposal for shared spectrum would work. PCAST’s recommendations are far more sweeping. From the report, which you can find here (pdf):
In just two years, the astonishing growth of mobile information technology–exemplified by smartphones, tablets, and many other devices–has only made the demands on access to spectrum more urgent. This report by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) responds to the challenges and opportunities that have arisen since your earlier Memorandum was issued. It concludes that the traditional practice of clearing government-held spectrum of Federal users and auctioning it for commercial use is not sustainable. In light of changes made possible by modern technology, we recommend that you issue a new Memorandum that states it is the policy of the U.S. government to share underutilized spectrum to the maximum extent consistent with the Federal mission, and requires the Secretary of Commerce to identify 1,000 MHz of Federal spectrum in which to implement shared-use spectrum pilot projects.