“Communications policy leaders are looking put federal spectrum in the pipeline as the U.S. gears up for faster mobile broadband,” Mark Rockwell reports for FCW. “‘We’re looking to make sure we have enough spectrum to meet 5G needs,’ David Redl, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, told a conference on March 27. ‘One of the agency’s core visions is striking a balance between the demand for spectrum from various commercial users and the needs of federal agencies,’ he said.”
“Redl’s speech followed video remarks from Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai in which he vowed to continue to ‘take a regulatory weed whacker’ to accelerate commercial investment in broadband,” Rockwell reports. “The government is currently looking at opening up 100 megahertz in the 3450-3550 MHz band, which is currently used for military radar. Redl said the move is crucial to expanding the U.S. broadband spectrum inventory, he said.”
“The FCC has already set rules for the adjacent 3550-3700 MHz mid-spectrum band for its planned Citizens Broadband Radio Service. Together, he said the combined spectrum would provide a contiguous unbroken piece of broadband spectrum,” Rockwell reports. “NTIA is also working on alternative spectrum management approaches. For instance, Redl said the 2019 budget bill signed by the president last week authorizes NTIA to set leases for federal spectrum holdings.”
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MacDailyNews Take: 5G can’t get here soon enough! Hopefully, it’ll introduce some real competition among broadband ISPs as there are too many places in the country where choice and, therefore, competition is sorely lacking.