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Key Dates in Spectrum Management History

1912 -- U.S. Radio Act of 1912. Commercial radio licenses issued by the Department of Commerce. In the 1920s, Secretary Hoover discovered that the authority was like a driver's license: any qualified person could get one.

1922 -- Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee. Under presidential authority, Federal Government agencies determine allocations for naval and other Federal spectrum use.

1927 -- Radio Act of 1927. Establishment of independent commission, Federal Radio Commission, with power to grant exclusive radio station licenses to limited number of applicants.

1934 -- Communications Act of 1934. Provisions of Radio Act incorporated with little change as Title III of new act. Federal government stations remain exempt under section 305.

1962 -- All-Channel Receiver Act. Required televisions to receive UHF as well as VHF signals.

1992 -- World Administrative Radio Conference. Another of a long line of conferences under the auspices of the U.N.'s International Telecommunication Union, this conference among other things considered common location for what was to become known as "3G" services.

1993 -- Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. Authorized FCC to use competitive bidding (auctions) to choose licensees, and ordered identification and transfer of 200 MHZ from government use to FCC jurisdiction.

1996 -- Telecommunications Act of 1996. Set stage for licensing of digital television channels to incumbent broadcasters and essentially precluded an open auction. Granted broadcasters flexibility to use their spectrum for non-broadcast services. Other miscellaneous provisions regarding wireless services.

1997 -- Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Required transfer of additional 20 MHZ of spectrum below 3 GHz from Federal Government use to FCC for reallocation; set 2006 as the year broadcasters had to give up their analog channels, with a big if; and set deadlines for auctions of specified frequency bands.


For more information contact:

Office of Policy Analysis and Development

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1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room 4725
Washington, D.C. 20230
voice: (202) 482-1880 · fax: (202) 482-6173
E-mail: webopad.ntia.doc.gov

 
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