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Spectrum Repacking Ideas Needed

FCC, CTIA, NTIA moving forward to accommodate “exponential” increase in demand

For those who thought the DTV transition was a painful, once-in-a-lifetime-event, stay tuned.

A bubble of RF spectrum demands are molting below the surface as an unprecedented wave of “smart” devices are sold and hooked up. Each of these devices is screaming for bandwidth and the era of smart devices is only beginning.

Public and private groups such as the FCC along with the National Telecommunications & Information Agency and CTIA: The Wireless Association are discussing numerous spectrum “repacking” propositions to try to get ahead of the curve.

John Eggerton, Washington Bureau Chief for Radio World’s sister publication Broadcasting & Cable, is covering this continuing story and is recommended reading.

He has noted that while a recent NTIA report claims to have found 95 MHz of spectrum, 1755–1850 MHz, that could be repurposed, much of it can’t be reclaimed easily or rapidly. But, he reports, 25 MHz of that group could be reoriented for wireless broadband use relatively quickly. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski agreed, saying, “Given the exponential increase in consumer demand for spectrum, it’s time to focus on the 1755–1780 MHz band. This is a real and unique opportunity to free up 25 MHz of high-value spectrum in the near future.”

Eggerton writes that shifting spectrum uses also affect spectrum outside the shifted portions. For instance, according to the Department of Defense, frequencies that house ENG uses at 2025–2110 MHz may need to be moved again. They were originally moved during the DTV transition. These moves are not pain-free, costing money, time and effort.

NTIA Spectrum Move Draws a Crowd

NTIA Spectrum Plan Could Force Second ENG Exodus