US regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) pledged to improve government coordination on spectrum management, an apparent response to a recent spat with the aviation industry over C-Band deployments.
The agencies formed the Spectrum Coordination Initiative, committing to:
• Renew efforts to develop a national spectrum strategy. NTIA and the FCC vowed to cooperate to develop a national spectrum strategy, increase transparency and establish long-term planning and coordination.
• Recommit to scientific integrity and evidence-based policymaking. The agencies plan to create processes for spectrum engineering compatibility analysis, including a compilation of principles, guidelines, accepted technical standards, interference protection criteria and propagation models, among other items.
• Revamp Technical Collaboration. A commitment to foster proactive technical exchange and engagement with industry and other federal agencies by participating in cross-agency advisory groups, beginning with the FCC participating as an observer in the a committee advising NTIA chiefs and vice-versa.
Going forward, the FCC and NTIA pledged they would work together to resolve spectrum policy issues by holding regular formal meetings on joint spectrum planning.
In a statement, the agencies explained the Spectrum Coordination Initiative will work towards improving their “ability to address gaps in governmental coordination” by updating a nearly 20-year memorandum of understanding between the two.
The Initiative also includes recently-appointed NTIA assistant secretary Alan Davidson and FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel holding monthly meetings to focus on joint spectrum planning.
Roger Entner, founder of research company Recon Analytics, told Mobile World Live the agencies’ commitment to put the nation “ahead of their respective turfs” was a welcome development.
“We can only win when the FCC and NTIA are working together to bring more spectrum, more quickly and without hiccups to the best possible use. The new cooperation will accelerate and harmonise the approach to spectrum management.”
Creation of the spectrum initiative follows a fierce spat between the US aviation industry involving the launch of 5G services in C-Band spectrum by Verizon and AT&T.
The FAA has repeatedly expressed concerns the 5G services could interfere with aviation operations, with the operators agreeing to create buffers around some airports.
Hope springs eternal the new initiative will plant the seeds for better cooperation going forward.