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US Presidential Panel Seeks Advanced Use of Spectrum

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The presidential advisory committee urges President Obama to take up new computer technologies to make better use of a huge swath of the radio spectrum now controlled by federal agencies.
If the measure is brought into practice it would relieve spectrum congestion caused by the popularity of smartphones, and generate far more revenue for the federal government than auctioning spectrum to wireless carriers.
Making better use of the spectrum for cellphones would allow for more services, more competition and possibly lower prices for consumers using cellphone data services.
The new plan, which calls on the government to electronically rent or lease spectrum for periods of time as short as seconds using newly available computerized radio technologies, was presented publicly Friday to a meeting of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, or PCAST.
The authors of the report included Eric E. Schmidt, the chairman of Google, Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer and Silicon Valley venture capitalists Mark P. Gorenberg and David E. Liddle, among others.
The idea of using computer-based technologies to increase spectrum capacity is catching on rapidly in the United States and overseas. Twice this month in speeches before cellular and cable companies Julius Genachowski, the Federal Communications Commission chairman, has called on industry to embrace spectrum-sharing technologies to make room for the wireless data explosion. It is believed that freeing the spectrum will promote economic growth.
The authors cite a recent European study that found that freeing 400 megahertz of radio spectrum to be shared using new technologies would be equivalent to an economic financial stimulus of 800 billion euros.

 

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