Federal spectrum regulators have convinced their boss of the merits of spectrum sharing, which would let federal agencies and commercial users split time on the same airwaves. On Friday, President Obama put forward a plan to identify new frequencies for shared use and a timeline to test whether the model would be feasible in the real world.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration – which manages the government’s airwaves – and the Federal Communications Commission have backed the idea of spectrum sharing as a way of balancing the mobile industry’s hunger for new bandwidth with the government’s own communications needs.
The idea is that federal users would be prioritized over the shared airwaves, but whenever and wherever there are no government transmissions present, commercial users would have free reign to operate their devices and networks. For instance, satellite communications bands might be off-limits for commercial use in and near…
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