White House Seeks Comment on Ways to Encourage Federal Spectrum Efficiency

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The White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has issued a Request for Information seeking public comment on ways to provide greater incentives to Federal agencies to relinquish spectrum for wireless broadband or other innovative commercial uses. The Request specifically seeks comment on nine major approaches identified in a report by the Science and Technology Policy Institute. These approaches can be grouped into four types: (1) spectrum user fees, payable by agencies based on some valuation of their spectrum assignments; (2) a spectrum fund that agencies could draw from to plan and execute spectrum relocation and sharing strategies; (3) spectrum property rights, where spectrum assignments to agencies could include the authority to further assign or share those rights with wireless carriers and other third parties in return for compensation paid directly to the agency; and (4) command-and-control, where a central authority such as the National Telecommunications and Information Administration or the Office of Management and Budget would be given greater authority over relocation and sharing decisions. Comments are due March 20 and should be sent to publicaccess@ostp.gov.

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