WASHINGTON – The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today published the federal agencies’ transition plans for vacating or sharing spectrum bands set to be auctioned by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this fall.
The agencies’ transition plans provide information on the 1695-1710 MHz and 1755-1780 MHz bands, known as the “AWS-3” bands. The plans include timelines outlining when agencies will discontinue use of the bands or be ready to share them with non-federal users and provide estimates of the cost of relocating or sharing in these bands. In May, NTIA notified the FCC of the initial estimated costs and timelines. The total estimated relocation and sharing costs for the federal agencies are approximately $527.1 million for the 1695-1710 MHz band and about $4.576 billion for the 1755-1780 MHz band.
NTIA is working with the FCC and other federal agencies to meet President Obama’s goal of finding 500 megahertz of additional spectrum for commercial mobile broadband by 2020, which was announced in 2010. NTIA and the FCC will soon be releasing a joint public notice detailing the coordination procedures between AWS-3 licensees and the agencies following the FCC auction.
“This is an important step forward in our efforts to find more spectrum to help fuel the nation’s growing demand for wireless technologies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. “We appreciate the federal agencies for their diligent efforts over the past few months to work closely with NTIA, industry stakeholders, and the FCC on their transition plans.”
The FCC’s auction of these bands along with the 2155-2180 MHz band is scheduled to begin on November 13, 2014. As required by the amendments to the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act (CSEA), which were included in the 2012 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, NTIA has made the transition plans publicly available on its website no later than 120 days before the start date of the auction for the AWS-3 bands. Classified or other sensitive information is excluded from publication under the CSEA.
NTIA is the Executive Branch agency that advises the President on telecommunications and information policy issues. NTIA’s programs and policy making focus largely on expanding broadband Internet access and adoption in America, expanding the use of spectrum by all users, and ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for continued innovation and economic growth.