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U.S. Lays Groundwork for WRC-11

Martin names co-chairs to the commission's advisory committee.

It’s several years away, but plans are getting started already for the next World Radiocommunication Conference.

Thomas J. Navin and R. Paul Margie were named as co-chairs of the FCC’s Advisory Committee for WRC-11. Chairman Kevin Martin made the announcement.

The committee will provide the commission with advice, tech analyses and recommendations on matters relating to the big international conference in 2011. Martin cited Navin and Margie for their “exceptional willingness to forge agreement and consensus on difficult, complex issues.” Commissioner Michael Copps called the appointments “stellar.”

WRC convenes every few years under U.N. auspices to manage international use of radio-frequency spectrum. Eventually a U.S. delegation to the WRC will be named.

Navin is a partner in the law firm of Wiley Rein and is former chief of the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau and its Policy Division. Margie is a partner with Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis and former senior director for technology partnerships at the United Nations Foundation; he is former legal advisor to Copps, among other Capitol Hill experience.

Alex Roytblat, who directed the FCC’s prep work before the 2007 WRC, will do so again. He is assistant chief of the Strategic Analysis and Negotiations Division of the International Bureau. The committee reports to the chairman through Roytblat.

The charter for the advisory committee lists more than 30 areas of interest for the group, including a possible allocation of about 15 kHz in parts of 415–526.5 kHz to the amateur service on a secondary basis; spectrum requirements to support safe operation of unmanned aircraft systems; worldwide harmonization of spectrum for electronic news gathering; revising frequencies and channel arrangements to implement new digital technologies for the maritime mobile service; spectrum usage of 21.4–22 GHz for the broadcasting-satellite service; regulatory measures to enable introduction of software-defined radio and cognitive radio systems; and the effect of emissions from short-range devices on radio communication services.