Is database management the future of spectrum allocations?

Lynnette LunaWhen the FCC approved the use of unlicensed white-space spectrum last week, the commissioners also talked of how the spectrum is a proving ground for how future spectrum might be allocated--using a database to manage it.

Since white-space spectrum isn't totally unencumbered at any one time, geolocation databases are required to route wireless signals around interference. The FCC is expected to okay database providers as well as issue other final rules around potential interference in 30 days.

In light of the fact that the commission is looking under every rock for additional spectrum to meet its National Broadband Plan goal, database control of spectrum may be the way to go. The FCC is sitting on a bunch of spectrum that was never auctioned because of a lack of a business case, and some spectrum is only available on a regional basis.

The FCC could very well mandate some sort of database management for the D-block 700 MHz spectrum, where public safety and commercial operations are likely to share spectrum. Public safety will require priority access. Such a database, according to Spectrum Bridge COO Joe Hamilla, will allow public safety to gain priority access on a localized basis.

It will be interesting to see how database management might evolve to apply all sort of policies to the use of spectrum.--Lynnette