Sunday, July 29, 2012

PCAST Releases Report on Spectrum

The report “Realizing the Full Potential of Government-Held Spectrum to Spur Economic Growth” was released July 20th, by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) an independent council of experts from industry and academia. PCAST concluded that the traditional practice of clearing and reallocating portions of the spectrum used by Federal agencies is not a sustainable model for spectrum policy.

PCAST finds that the best way to increase capacity is to leverage new technologies to enable larger blocks of spectrum to be shared. One advantage of sharing is that it does not require licensed businesses and government entities to fully clear certain wavelengths already in use.

The PCAST report notes that existing approaches to spectrum sharing can be augmented by a variety of means, including dynamic redirecting of devices to available frequencies along with better prevention of interference among signals in close proximity to one another. Several such approaches are in development and a number are ready for real-world testing.

Major recommendations in the report include:

·        The Federal government should share underutilized Federal spectrum to the maximum extent possible and identify 1,000 MHz of Federal spectrum as part of an effort to create the first shared-use spectrum superhighways

·        Authorize and implement in collaboration with industry partners, a Federal Spectrum Access System (SAS) to serve as an information and control clearinghouse for the band-by-band registrations and conditions of use that will apply to all users with access to each shared Federal band under its jurisdiction

·        Establish methodologies for spectrum management that consider both transmitter and receiver characteristics to enable flexible sharing of spectrum

·        Take stops to implement a mechanism that will give Federal agencies incentives to share spectrum

To view the entire report, go to