The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has issued a Request for Comment (Request) regarding the development of a new National Spectrum Strategy, one that considers a plan to study federal spectrum use to identify spectrum that could be reallocated or repurposed to commercial use. This poses an opportunity for users of wireless spectrum to have input in shaping potential access to spectrum they may need in the future.
In recent years, most new allocations of significant amounts of spectrum in the United States were enabled by legislation directing the Federal Communications Commission to take a particular action. Here, with NTIA representing federal spectrum users, non-federal users—especially those within NTIA's "spectrum reliant" list of services and missions—have an opening to establish how they may be able to successfully share or repurpose particular spectrum bands.
NTIA's Request focuses on the following "Spectrum Reliant Services and Missions":
- Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities
- Next-generation satellite communications and other space-based systems
- Advanced transportation technologies
- Industrial and commercial applications (i.e., manufacturing, agriculture, and utilities)
- Wireless medical devices and telemedicine
- Fixed and mobile wireless broadband services
- Critical government missions, such as national defense, safeguarding the national airspace, securing the nation's critical infrastructure, climate monitoring and forecasting, and other scientific endeavors
A Spectrum Pipeline to Ensure U.S. Leadership in Spectrum-Based Technologies
NTIA seeks comments on what requirements the nation's Spectrum Pipeline plan needs to address, and which spectrum bands may be best suited for future networks, and for spectrum sharing regimes. These include:
- Spectrum requirements for next-generation networks and emerging technologies and standards (6G, Wi-Fi 8)
- Specific use cases and high-level technical specifications
- Spectrum bands that should be studied for potential repurposing over the short, medium, and long terms
- Benefits and tradeoffs of various approaches for repurposing spectrum
- Particular policies that encourage federal/commercial spectrum-sharing arrangements
Long-Term Spectrum Planning
NTIA seeks comments on what its long-term planning process (in coordination with the FCC) should look like, which groups of stakeholders should be involved, and what timelines and/or other factors should be considered.
Unprecedented Spectrum Access and Management through Technology Development
NTIA seeks comments on what categories of new or emerging technologies should be promoted to ensure innovation and to maintain the United States' global leadership in spectrum-based services.
Comments responsive to NTIA are due April 17, 2023.
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