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Notice on Biannual NTIA/FCC Spectrum Planning Meeting

August 30, 2012

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Lawrence E. Strickling met on August 29, 2012, to discuss their agencies’ complementary roles with respect to commercial and Federal use of spectrum. The meeting, covering both domestic and international spectrum planning issues of joint interest, is in line with Federal law which directs the agency heads to meet biannually to conduct joint spectrum planning.

Chairman Genachowski and Assistant Secretary Strickling discussed implementation of the spectrum-related provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, as well as the President’s initiative to make available 500 MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband and the recent report from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. They agreed that efforts to identify spectrum must include all available options, including both clearing spectrum and sharing spectrum where appropriate.

They specifically discussed ongoing and planned activities to make additional spectrum available for wireless broadband including: industry/government collaboration and testing to determine the viability of sharing federal spectrum in the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1850 MHz bands with commercial wireless services; a planned FCC proposal to free up a substantial amount of spectrum through TV incentive auctions; an FCC proposal planned for later this year regarding the use of 100 megahertz of spectrum for small cells that NTIA identified at 3.5 GHz as part of its Fast Track evaluation; a pending FCC proposal to repurpose Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) S-band spectrum for AWS-4; a pending proposal to revise the rules for the Wireless Communications Service at 2.3 GHz to accommodate mobile broadband; and NTIA studies of additional spectrum for unlicensed devices in the 5 GHz band.  The Assistant Secretary and the Chairman committed to taking concrete steps to advance these activities over the next six months.

The Chairman and Assistant Secretary agreed that these actions represent substantial progress towards achieving the President’s goal of making 500 MHz of spectrum available for licensed and unlicensed wireless broadband services and devices.