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FCW : March 15, 2014
The Defense Department has released a strategy that will serve as the initial push for becoming more ef cient in the use of electromagnetic spectrum while collaborating with industry to strike a balance between national security and economic interests. The strategy "will be updated peri- odically to re ect lessons learned, the changing spectrum environment and our changing needs," DOD CIO Teri Takai said in a Pen- tagon press brief- ing held Feb. 20, the day the strategy was issued. "This kicks off a multi- year effort to align existing processes and spur decisions over the future of key systems." Pentagon leaders will spend the next six months developing a road map for the strategy that includes time- lines and details for moving forward, Takai said. In the long term, DOD will look to replace legacy systems with more "militarily effective" and ef cient technologies. The strategy comes at a time when increasing consumer demand for mobile capabilities is competing with growing bandwidth requirements from battle eld troops. Takai said that in ve years, the spectrum picture will look signi cantly different. "Because of our long lead times... it s important that we have a strategy that is thinking long-term," she said. "We cannot shift in a short-term frame. We just have too much equipment and too much capability that has to be tran- sitioned in a very thoughtful way so as not to impose a major burden on budgets and on taxpayers." --- Amber Corrin The White House s Spectrum Policy Team is seeking comments through March 20 on ways to incentivize agen- cies to relinquish or share spectrum with commercial users. The move is the latest step in a long-standing Obama administration goal of freeing up 500 MHz of spectrum for use in wireless broadband to meet the grow- ing demand for data-intensive mobile services. So far, getting agencies to give up their spectrum has been a challenge. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Commerce Department component charged with managing fed- eral spectrum holdings, has identi ed more than 400 MHz of spectrum that could be converted to commer- cial use. A presidential memorandum issued in June 2013 ordered new pol- icies to incentivize agencies to give up their spectrum holdings or share them using a set of technologies being developed by the private sector in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology. To seed the discussion, a new report from the Institute for Defense Analyses prepared on behalf of the White House Of ce of Science and Technology Policy outlines nine pos- sible approaches to giving agencies incentives to share or relinquish spec- trum holdings. Although the report does not rec- ommend any particular method, it does offer guidance on which solu- tions offer the path of least resistance in terms of technical feasibility, cur- rent law and the value of any incen- tives provided to agencies. Six of the nine approaches seek to encourage agencies to cooperate by giving them a share in the proceeds of commercial deals involving their spectrum. The proposals include charging market rates to agency users to encourage movement away from fallow spectrum, giving agencies the right to pool and lease their own spec- trum, and adopting a tiered model that would give priority to federal users but allow licensed commercial users to access available channels. However, some of the more ambi- tious sharing strategies fail to take into account the fact that commer- cial users rely on exclusive access to spec- trum for mar- keting purposes, and some of the entrepreneurial approaches might not offer enough incentives to federal users. Bipartisan legislation proposed in the House would allow agencies to recoup 1 percent of auction proceeds to offset sequester cuts, an amount that the report cautions might not be enough to push agencies to free up spectrum. Alternatively, the government could direct agencies to reallocate and share spectrum without using incentives. One approach would be to create an independent body to make spectrum decisions along the lines of the com- mission that consolidated military bases. Agencies could be required to justify their current holdings in a one- time review of spectrum allocations. A more direct approach would establish a spectrum auditor at the Of ce of Management and Budget to identify underused spectrum. --- Adam Mazmanian Trending is the prison sentence given to Anthony Bilby for contracting fraud 16 months White House seeks answers on spectrum management TeriTakai DOD launches new spectrum strategy 10 March 15, 2014 FCW.COM
March 30, 2014