The FCC has released a Notice of Inquiry pertaining to the dynamic use of spectrum, which means making wireless licenses usable by more than one licensee or user, as the commission works to come up with more usable spectrum for wireless broadband services in the future.
When the commission approved the use of unlicensed white-space spectrum in September, 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.
"Even as we look to free up existing spectrum to meet the needs for wireless broadband, we can and should explore ways to make more dynamic and opportunistic use of the spectrum we have," noted FCC Chair Julius Genachowski following the NOI's release.
As such, the commission is delving into the issue of "dynamic spectrum access technologies." Specifically, the NOI seeks to find out "what additional steps the Commission can and should take to encourage, promote, and incentivize their development and use in both unlicensed and licensed spectrum."
Some particulars the FCC is seeking comment on include whether it should expand white-space services to other areas of spectrum besides the TV bands, and whether the agency should expand its rules for a "dynamic spectrum leasing arrangement" that would allow license owners to rent out their spectrum to other users. The FCC also wants comment on how to lease out spectrum that isn't contiguous. 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.
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