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NTIA Releases Third Interim Progress Report on Ten-Year Plan to Free Up More Spectrum

December 04, 2012 by

NTIA recently released the Third Interim Progress Report on the Obama Administration’s efforts to make available 500 megahertz of spectrum by 2020 for expanded wireless broadband use.

Tablet and smartphone use is growing at an astounding pace, revolutionizing the way Americans work and play by enabling anytime, anywhere accessibility to the Internet. This wireless broadband revolution enhances U.S. competitiveness, creates jobs and drives innovation.  It is triggering the creation of innovative new businesses, providing cost-effective connections in rural areas, increasing productivity, and improving public safety.

America’s future competitiveness and global technology leadership depend on access to radio spectrum – the lifeblood of these ubiquitous, data-hungry wireless devices.  That is why President Obama’s June 2010 Memorandum set a bold goal of nearly doubling the amount of spectrum available for commercial use by the end of this decade. NTIA is hard at work making that goal a reality. 

The President’s memorandum also directed NTIA to take into account the need to ensure no loss of critical existing and planned Federal government capabilities and to explore innovative spectrum-sharing technologies

The report issued last week outlines the steps NTIA, in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other federal agencies, has taken in the past year towards that goal. The key accomplishments during the past year include:

  • NTIA and the FCC commenced actions to implement key spectrum provisions from the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012;
  • NTIA published a report on the 1755-1850 MHz band, which recommended making 95 megahertz of prime spectrum available for commercial broadband use subject to addressing a number of associated challenges;
  • NTIA’s Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee facilitated collaborative efforts between industry and government  stakeholders to assess and recommend practical frameworks for the development of  relocation, transition, and sharing arrangements and plans for 110 megahertz of federal spectrum in the 1695-1710 MHz and the 1755-1850 MHz bands;
  • NTIA initiated studies on the potential use of up to 195 megahertz by unlicensed broadband devices in the 5350-5470 MHz band and the 5850-5925 MHz band;
  • The FCC commenced rulemaking proceedings to facilitate the transition of broadcasting and satellite spectrum bands to terrestrial mobile broadband services;
  • To facilitate the development of terrestrial mobile broadband applications, the United States Government successfully advocated for an agenda item for the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference  to consider allocation of additional spectrum to the mobile service on a primary basis for International Mobile Telecommunications and related regulatory provisions; and
  • NTIA and the federal spectrum users continued to reevaluate and reprioritize other spectrum bands that offer the greatest opportunities for unleashing the innovative potential of wireless broadband and using the wireless spectrum more creatively and efficiently.


Presidential Memorandum: Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution (June 2010)

White House Fact Sheet: Doubling the Amount of Commercial Spectrum to Unleash the Innovative Potential of Wireless Broadband (June 2010)

Ten Year Plan and Timetable to Make Available 500 MHz of Spectrum for Wireless Broadband (October 2010)

“Fast-Track” Report: An Assessment of the Near-Term Viability of Accommodating Wireless Broadband Systems in the 1675-1710 MHz, 1755-1780 MHz, 3500-3650 MHz, and 4200-4220 MHz, 4380-4400 MHz Bands (October 2010)

Wireless Spectrum R&D (WSRD) Senior Steering Group (SSG)

Second Interim Progress Report on the Ten-Year Plan and Timetable (October 2011)

First Interim Progress Report on the Ten Year Plan and Timetable (April 2011)

An Assessment of the Viability of Accommodating Wireless Broadband in the 1755-1850 MHz Band (March 2012)

Testimony by Associate Administrator Nebbia on Creating Opportunities through Improved Government Spectrum Efficiency (September 2012)