WATPA: FW: US Govt. Seeks Electronic Comment On Wireless Airwaves

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From: Norman J. Jacknis (norm@jacknis.com)
Date: Thu Nov 30 2000 - 22:01:09 EST

One of the most significant areas of growth in telecommunications is wireless and a major battle is being fought over the finite spectrum for radio waves. So I thought you might be interested in the article below.


US Govt. Seeks Electronic Comment On Wireless Airwaves

By David McGuire, Newsbytes

As part of its continuing push to hunt down blocks of radio airwave "spectrum" to be auctioned off to third-generation (3G) wireless Internet companies, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today unveiled an electronic forum on the topic.

NTIA, which is helping coordinate the multi-agency spectrum hunt, launched the e-mail forum (or "Listserv") in response to strong outside-the-Beltway interest in the critical airwave search, NTIA spokesperson Art Brodsky said today.

"It's just a simple question of providing this vehicle for people to" participate in the discussion, Brodsky said.

Last month, President Clinton, in an executive memorandum, charged the Commerce Department, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Defense Department with the job of finding ways to reallocate radio band spectrum currently being used both by government agencies and non-governmental airwave users.

The plan for that search, which is posted online at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/threeg/3g_plan14.htm, contains input from all three agencies and outlines "the necessary steps that will result in the licensing of third-generation wireless systems by September 30, 2002," according to the Commerce Department.

Since one of the two likely sources for 3G spectrum identified by the government lies in blocks of radio airwaves currently held by colleges and other teaching institutions around the country, interest in the debate is geographically diverse, Brodsky said.

Educational leaders were the first to request the creation of an electronic forum for the debate, Brodsky said.

Other than college-controlled airwaves, one of the main sources of potential spectrum being targeted under the administration initiative is a huge block of airwaves currently reserved for use by the Defense Department.

The Defense Department has agreed to work with the Commerce Department and the FCC to find ways to reallocate some of the spectrum currently under its control.

In conjunction with unveiling the reallocation project, the White House Council of Economic Advisors last week released a report detailing the potential economic benefits that the nation could reap by facilitating the development of "3G" wireless technology.

The report, which is available in PDF format on the White House Web site at http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/CEA/html/whitepapers.html , predicts that the development of broadband wireless Internet technologies will herald a multi-billion-dollar boon to US companies and, by proxy, the nation's economy.

Interested parties can subscribe to the Listserv by sending an e-mail message to 3g-list-request@lists.ntia.doc.gov , leaving the subject link blank and typing in the body of the message: "join 3g."

Reported by Newsbytes.com, http://www.newsbytes.com .

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