Introducing Spectrum.gov

April 11, 2014 by Karl Nebbia, NTIA’s Associate Administrator, Office of Spectrum Management

The growing proliferation of wireless devices is prompting heightened interest in and demand for spectrum used by federal agencies. In response, NTIA today is launching Spectrum.gov, a new website aimed at providing greater transparency regarding how federal government agencies utilize spectrum.

Spectrum.gov provides a compendium of federal spectrum use in the 225 megahertz through 5 gigahertz bands—prime real estate that has prompted the most interest from both federal and commercial users. It contains information for each frequency band in which the federal government has significant operations on an exclusive or shared basis. Just as commercial broadband providers are facing growing demands for spectrum to fuel the explosion of new wireless devices, federal agencies’ demand for spectrum also is growing. NTIA’s compendium shows agencies need spectrum for crucial tasks ranging from military flight testing to air traffic control to weather forecasting.

Spectrum.gov is part of NTIA’s ongoing efforts to help meet President Obama’s goal of making an additional 500 megahertz of spectrum available for wireless broadband by 2020. This newly published data provides a band-by-band description of how spectrum is used by federal agencies, the number and type of frequency assignments NTIA has authorized, and the percentage of frequency assignments by category. In addition, the new website also features a contour map showing where federal systems that utilize spectrum are located across the country.

This latest data, which will be updated regularly, is an important resource for all stakeholders to help determine potential opportunities and obstacles to repurposing federal bands for commercial uses.

Also today, NTIA’s Institute of Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) released the results of a survey of spectrum occupancy in the Chicago area. This new report, authored by Chriss Hammerschmidt of ITS, is the third in a series of spectrum survey reports. It follows an August 2013 report on spectrum occupancy in the Denver area and a November 2013 report on San Diego measurements.