December 18, 2003
|Contact: Clyde Ensslin or
Ranjit de Silva, 202-482-7002
New Web Site Will Speed Approval Process for Building of Commercial Fixed Link Communications Networks in the 70, 80, 90 GHz Bands
Industry Access to High-Speed Data Links Will Become Faster and Easier
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has launched a Web site where, when fully operational, non-federal users of spectrum will be able to receive in minutes, as opposed to weeks or months, approval to operate in the 70, 80 and 90 GHz bands opened for commercial use by the NTIA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last month. At these “millimeter wave” frequencies, data can be transmitted at extremely high speeds.
“In terms of innovation and impact, this is e-government at its best,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael D. Gallagher. “Large and small businesses will be able to get an answer nearly instantly when they apply in the 70, 80, 90 GHz bands for a fixed high-speed communication link. Spectrum access is moving from policy to reality.”
FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell said, “Once again we have demonstrated that our two agencies are committed to reducing the barriers to efficient spectrum use while at the same time protecting the rights of the incumbents. The database brings us one step closer to additional broadband deployment in these bands.”
Applicants can currently visit the site at http://ntiacsd.ntia.doc.gov/webcoord/status.cfm for a status report on their applications. NTIA expects the complete application and approval process for the 70, 80, 90 GHz bands will be fully automated and online before the end of 2004. Until the complete Web-based coordination system is operational, NTIA and the federal agencies will continue to process private sector assignments for coordination within 14 working days of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) providing those assignment requests to NTIA.
The FCC’s recent Allocations and Service Rules Order for the 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz, and 92-95 GHz bands, dated November 11, 2003, set in motion the steps necessary to implement these technologies. The NTIA/FCC agreement calls for the formulation of a plan for the Web-based frequency coordination mechanism within four months of the release of the Federal Register notice of the Order. Within another four months, the system would be operational.