Press Release

Public Knowledge President Calls for More Spectrum Sharing

October 8, 2009 , , , ,

It will be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” to free
up more spectrum to be used solely by wireless services, Public Knowledge
President and co-founder Gigi B. Sohn said in remarks prepared for an
Oct. 8 FCC panel on spectrum issues.

The problem, she said at the San Diego hearing, is that most of the
spectrum that would have value to industry is controlled by the Defense
Department and Federal Aviation Administration. It will “prove
politically difficult” to reallocate that spectrum, she added,
noting that today spectrum that was supposed to have been cleared by
government users from a 2003 auction still is “bogged down and
underutilized.”

Sohn said: “We believe that it will be impossible to convince
government to abandon the spectrum it controls, and that the better
course is for the FCC, working with the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration, to promote shared use of federally controlled
spectrum.”

In addition, she proposed a four-point policy program, saying the FCC
should:

  • complete its white spaces proceeding, and specifically, resolve the
    rules under which the database will operate and settle the pending
    Petitions for Reconsideration so that manufacturers can certify and
    deploy devices;

  • adopt a Notice of Inquiry that seeks comment on the possibility of
    variable power for white spaces devices in rural areas for fixed and
    backhaul services, as promised last November;

  • confer with NTIA to determine how best to promote the shared use of
    spectrum controlled by the federal government; and

  • urge Congress to pass the Radio Spectrum Inventory Act.

Her full statement can be found here.