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NTIA Takes Next Step in 500 MHz Wireless Broandband Initiative

January 31, 2011
News Media Contact
Moira Vahey

Today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it has selected the next spectrum band for a detailed evaluation of whether it can be repurposed for commercial broadband use. The band selected, 1755-1850 MHz is a priority for analysis based on a variety of factors, including industry interest and its potential for commercial use within ten years.

The following statement can be attributed to Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling:

"NTIA is conducting this evaluation as directed by President Obama to reach his goal of nearly doubling the amount of commercial spectrum available over the next decade, an initiative that will spur investment, economic growth, and job creation while supporting the growing demand by consumers and businesses for wireless broadband services. We look forward to our continued work with the FCC and other federal agencies as we work to free up additional spectrum while protecting vital government spectrum uses."


NTIA developed a ten-year plan and timetable in response to the June 28, 2010 Presidential Memorandum that directed the Secretary of Commerce, working through NTIA, to collaborate with the FCC to make available a total of 500 megahertz of Federal and nonfederal spectrum over the next 10 years for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use. The report, developed with input from other Federal agencies and the FCC, identifies 2,200 megahertz of spectrum for evaluation, the process for evaluating these candidate bands, and the steps necessary to make the selected spectrum available for wireless broadband services.

NTIA is evaluating candidate bands on a rolling basis in order to reach the 500 megahertz goal as rapidly as possible. In consultation with members of the Policy and Plans Steering Group (PPSG), a high-level interagency group advising NTIA on spectrum issues, NTIA is selecting the 1755-1850 MHz to be the primary focus for the next detailed analysis.

NTIA, with the assistance of the Federal agencies through the PPSG, will evaluate this band based on technical, operational and cost considerations to determine if the band should be repurposed and can be made available within ten years. If through this process NTIA concludes that the band should be repurposed, planning efforts will be initiated in coordination with the FCC and other Federal agencies to complete the transition. The ten-year plan calls for the analysis of the band to be completed by September 30, 2011.

The 1755-1850 MHz band is currently used by the Department of Defense, Federal law enforcement agencies, and other agencies for a variety of satellite, surveillance, aeronautical operations, fixed microwave and other operations.

For further information see the ten-year plan and timetable attached.