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Feds To Share Airwaves With Wireless Data Providers

2012-03-28 11:19 by
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U.S. government agencies could share airwaves with commercial wireless companies to help the mobile providers meet surging demand from smartphones, an Obama administration official said.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) proposed a plan on Tuesday to allow cellphone service providers to begin using the 1755 to 1780 MHz bands of spectrum, which are currently reserved for federal agencies. But clearing the 95MHz chunk of spectrum that the NTIA has been evaluating won't be an easy task. And it could take a decade or longer, plus millions of dollars, to move current government users from this spectrum.

"Today's report sets a path for putting prime spectrum into commercial wireless broadband use, in support of the Obama administration's goal to encourage investment and innovation while enhancing America's economic competitiveness," Lawrence E. Strickling, NTIA administrator and assistant secretary for communications and information, said in a statement. "Spectrum is a finite resource in growing demand, and we need to focus on new ways to maximize its use," he added.

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