NTIA Press Releases
For Immediate Release
October 2, 2003
Contact: Clyde Ensslin or
Ranjit de Silva, 202-482-7002


Proposed rule changes bolster successful joint FCC/NTIA efforts
to implement wireless broadband technologies

The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today filed comments supporting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s proposed rule changes to increase radio spectrum for unlicensed devices. The proposed changes build on successful U.S. efforts to bring the potential benefits of wireless broadband technologies, including high-speed Internet access, to the American consumer.

NTIA is leading a government/industry team to develop procedures that would allow wireless access systems like Wi-Fi to share radio spectrum with Defense Department radars in the 5GHz frequency band. This approach reflects a continuing cooperation between the federal government and the private sector to provide the technical foundation for spectrum sharing to the Commission, following the approach used successfully by the U.S. at the 2003 World Radio Conference.

"The FCC's proposed rule means more U.S. technology jobs and continued U.S. technology leadership," Acting NTIA Administrator Michael D. Gallagher said. "Today, we continue the Bush Administration's successful efforts to boost dynamic new technologies like Wi-Fi while protecting critical government systems Americans rely on every day. The global harmonization and coordination of spectrum rules, like those proposed by the FCC at 5GHz, mean that businesses and consumers receive the benefits of economies of scale and interoperability among different equipment manufacturers," Gallagher added.

The FCC proposal would modify Part 15 of its rules to accommodate expanded use of Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices, making an additional 255 MHz of spectrum available for these devices. In written comments to the FCC, NTIA supported the Commission's rule changes, such as use of so-called "interference avoidance" techniques known as Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS), which are necessary to protect vital government systems deployed for national security.

The NTIA Comments are available as an HTML file, as a Word file and as an Acrobat Portable Document Format pdf file (Version 6 of the Acrobat Reader includes the capability to read Acrobat documents out loud. The free Acrobat Reader software may be downloaded from the Adobe website)


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