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Commerce Department Seeks Wireless Spectrum

The Biden administration is looking for wireless spectrum that can be repurposed to meet advanced communication needs and rising U.S. wireless demand, Reuters (subscription) reports.

What’s going on: “The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is developing a National Spectrum Strategy with a goal to identify at least 1,500 megahertz of spectrum to study for potential new uses … including fixed and mobile wireless broadband; next-generation satellite communications and other space-based systems; advanced transportation; and industrial and commercial applications.”

  • The National Spectrum Strategy will also seek to address national defense, national airspace critical infrastructure and climate forecasting and monitoring.
  • The NTIA, which manages U.S. spectrum with the Federal Communications Commission, is seeking public comment on the project. 

The backdrop: Last week, Congress let the FCC’s authority to auction wireless spectrum lapse for the first time in 30 years. 

  • Meanwhile, public demand for spectrum use is soaring. Wireless data traffic increased 20% in 2021.

What’s next: “‘We’ve got 6G networks coming, new mega-constellations of satellites, connected automobiles, the internet of things—all of that demands new uses of spectrum,’ [NTIA Administrator Alan] Davidson said.”

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