Public Knowledge Files Comments Urging NTIA To Adopt a National Spectrum Strategy Based on Public Interest Values

Public Knowledge filed comments urging the NTIA to adopt a national spectrum strategy rooted in core public interest principles.

Today, Public Knowledge and New America’s Open Technology Institute, on behalf of the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition, filed comments with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in response to the agency’s Request for Comment on developing a national spectrum strategy. The filing urges the NTIA to adopt a national spectrum strategy that will not only secure our nation’s future as a wireless leader but also serve the public by moving us towards a future that serves and includes all Americans.

Creating a wireless future we can all enjoy requires guiding policies that are rooted in the public interest, rather than narrowly focusing on a specific industry or technology like 6G or Wi-Fi.The filing follows the launch of Public Knowledge’s recent white paper, “Back to the Spectrum Future: The 20th Anniversary of the Spectrum Policy Task Force,” by Public Knowledge Policy Counsel Kathleen Burke, advocating for adopting a backcasting model rooted in core public interest principles to help guide our spectrum policymakers toward a wireless future that serves and includes all Americans.

The following can be attributed to Kathleen Burke, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“Despite advances in technology that have turned junk bands into prime spectrum, spectrum greenfields have dwindled to near extinction. Meanwhile, our nation’s ad hoc approach to freeing up our underutilized airwaves has not once managed to fully satiate technology’s appetite for spectrum. Why? Because while technology changes, values endure. It is time for a new approach centered on what we want to achieve – providing affordable universal access, encouraging innovation, while preserving national defense – rather than on giving this band to mobile carriers or that band to the Defense Department. 

“With advances in radio technologies such as dynamic spectrum sharing, sensing technology, automatic frequency coordination databases, Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) systems, and tools like advanced AI management models on the horizon, we now have the opportunity and an obligation to fundamentally rethink how we manage the public airwaves. This shift in thinking is essential if we hope to achieve our nation’s telecommunications goals – including finally providing access to affordable and reliable telecommunications services for all Americans.”

You may view the comments here. You may also view our blog post, “Back to the Spectrum Future: How a Public Interest Framework Can Create a Wireless Future that Benefits Us All,” for more information on how a values-based spectrum policy framework can benefit everyone.

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