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White House directive could repurpose wireless spectrum during next 2 years

A new national strategy will see up to 2,700 megahertz of wireless spectrum potentially repurposed to help meet the evolving innovation and security needs of American industry, the White House confirmed Monday. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI
1 of 2 | A new national strategy will see up to 2,700 megahertz of wireless spectrum potentially repurposed to help meet the evolving innovation and security needs of American industry, the White House confirmed Monday. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A new national strategy will see up to 2,700 megahertz of wireless spectrum potentially repurposed to help meet the evolving innovation and security needs of American industry, the White House confirmed Monday.

The National Spectrum Strategy and simultaneous presidential memorandum will see American officials lay out a new blueprint to help advance U.S. wireless technologies.

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Spectrum is a catch-all term referring to invisible radio frequencies used by wireless signals to travel over distances.

The potential repurposing will "help ensure that both the public and private sectors have the spectrum resources they need to deliver critical services to every community in America," the White House said in a statement.

"It will also ensure that the U.S. uses spectrum policy as a critical lever to retain global leadership in wireless technology, creating an ecosystem of equipment, products, and applications and a virtuous cycle of innovation."

The new directive was developed by the National Telecommunications Information Administration in consultation with the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies.

"After receiving extensive public input, NTIA has identified five bands for study," the White House said in the statement.

"These are the 3.1-3.45 GHz, 5.03-5.091 GHz, 7.125-8.4 GHz, 18.1-18.6 GHz, and 37.0-37.6 GHz bands. This mix of bands could support a range of uses, including wireless broadband, drones, and satellite operations."

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The NTIA estimates the study will take up to two years to complete.

The strategy will also tackle long-term planning for future spectrum use.

Once implemented, it will increase access to advanced wireless broadband networks and technologies -- including 5G -- to both the public and private sectors.

"To accelerate spectrum innovation and ensure that the U.S. remains at the leading edge in this critical technology, the Strategy announces an ambitious effort under which the U.S. government will, within 12-18 months, advance research, create investment incentives, and set forth measurable goals to advance spectrum access technology," the White House statement reads.

In a memorandum announcing the proposed spectrum changes to come, President Joe Biden called the radio frequency spectrum one of "our nation's most important national resources" and called for a balance between private-sector innovation and government needs in future allocations.

"The United States has long advanced our global technological leadership by striking an appropriate balance between promoting private-sector innovation and furthering the missions of executive departments and agencies," the president said. "In recent years, however, rising demand for always-connected devices and other factors, such as the development of cooperative and automated vehicles, the commercialization of space, and the growing complexity and increased requirements of federal missions, have all led to increased competition for scarce spectrum resources."

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