Today, the Biden administration unveiled its National Spectrum Strategy to secure the future of U.S. wireless policy and innovation. The United States has not had a spectrum strategy since 2017, when the Trump administration withdrew the Obama administration policy. Since then, interagency feuds, such as the fight between the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Communication that nearly shut down air travel in January 2022, have undermined wireless innovation and deployment.
In addition to creating new coordination processes between federal users, the FCC, and the private sector to prevent these fights in the future, the plan also identifies the problem that our pipeline of spectrum engineers and other segments of the wireless workforce has dwindled. The plan proposes a taskforce to increase and diversify the spectrum workforce, creating good jobs available to all regardless of race or gender. The plan will also study ways to improve commercial access to federal bands without disrupting federal operations.
The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President of Public Knowledge:
“Spectrum fuels our innovation economy. The more smart devices that depend on constant connectivity, the more spectrum we need to keep them connected. Everything – from driverless cars to the various smart devices in your home – requires more spectrum. The plan released today will secure our digital future by eliminating the structural problems that hold back U.S. wireless innovation.
“For six years, the United States has lacked a comprehensive spectrum strategy. This lack of a national plan has created increasing tensions between the FCC’s efforts to meet our ever-expanding need for wireless capacity and federal agencies trying to carry out vital missions from weather forecasting to national security. These tensions, in turn, have compromised our ability to develop new wireless technologies and undermined our ability to maintain global leadership.
“We applaud the new spectrum strategy and urge all participants in the wireless economy to support implementation immediately.”
You may view our comments filed with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in response to the agency’s Request for Comment on developing a national spectrum strategy.
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