January 6, 2005
Contact: Clyde Ensslin or Ranjit de Silva
MHz of Spectrum Coming to Market:
Asked to Provide Estimated
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today sent federal agencies formal notification of their new obligations under the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act signed into law by President Bush on December 23, 2004. Today’s notification, contained in a letter from Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael D. Gallagher, requests that each affected agency submit its cost estimate and timeline for relocation to NTIA by September 15, 2005.
“We begin the new year with firm and decisive action to grow our economy and light the way for wireless innovation,” said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Michael D. Gallagher. “I commend the FCC for its prompt response in setting forth an 18-month time frame leading to auctions as early as June, 2006. I look forward to working with the Commission and with the other departments and agencies – in particular the dedicated spectrum team at the Department of Defense – to facilitate efficient auctions and the timely relocation of incumbents.”
Radio spectrum occupied by federal users will be auctioned to private users as early as June, 2006, and costs of relocating incumbent users will for the first time be funded by auction proceeds. The Act requires the Commission to notify NTIA at least 18 months in advance of beginning an auction of spectrum transferred from federal government to commercial use. The FCC has announced its intention to commence an auction for Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) licenses in the 1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz bands as early as June 2006. The 1710-1755 MHz band is currently occupied by federal government spectrum users.