December 7, 2016–The FCC’s Technological Advisory Council today approved recommendations from its working groups on a variety of topics, including cybersecurity, mobile device theft prevention, and spectrum and receiver performance. At its last meeting of the year, the TAC approved recommendations of its working groups on issues they have been working on in 2016. The cybersecurity working group said the FCC should leverage industry bodies to ensure there is broad industry support for 5G security, including security by design, and it should incorporate software configurable radio (SCR) mechanisms into its current guidance.
David Simpson, chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Julie Knapp, chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology, praised the cyber recommendations at today’s meeting. The mobile device theft prevention working group said the Commission should work with the State Department to lobby globally for more engagement on device theft matters. The FCC also should work with state, local, federal, and tribal law enforcement authorities to assess how effective wireless industry measures already deployed have been, it said.
The spectrum and receiver performance working group urged the Commission to direct OET’s lab to measure whether advanced lighting and switching power supplies meet the agency’s noise limits and initiate enforcement action if they don’t. The agency also should issue a notice of inquiry and/or notice of proposed rulemaking to gather input on whether it should change its rules to address advance lighting and switching power supplies and other matters, including noise generation below 30 megahertz and devices that are currently excluded from emission testing, it said.
The next-generation Internet service characteristics and features working group recommended that the FCC issue a public notice on the contribution of in-home networks to overall quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) and expand its Measuring Broadband America (MBA) program to add additional QoS and QoE measurements.
The future game changing technologies working group recommended that the Commission engage in an annual exercise to gain insights on the impact of emerging technologies. It also should work with the executive branch and Congress to ensure there is adequate spectrum and should establish a “technology watch list” of priorities, the working group said.
The implications for mass deployment of aeronautical/space transmitters working group said that the FCC should adopt service rules for command and control of large unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and should gather information on the payload services for large UAS, especially HAPS (high-altitude platform stations), applications and sharing techniques.
The working group also urged the FCC to promote existing communications infrastructure and commercially available licensed and unlicensed bands when possible to support small, low-altitude UAS communications functions. The agency also should harmonize the 800 MHz band with other bands to enable small, low-altitude UAS use, it said.
At today’s meeting, Walter Johnston, chief of OET’s Electromagnetic Compatibility Division and the TAC’s designated federal officer, reviewed the recommendations that the TAC made last year and noted that the FCC has taken action on some of them, while others are still under consideration.
“We have imperfectly implemented your recommendations,” he said to laughter. But he added that all of the major recommendations have “had an impact on our work process.” Also, Mr. Knapp was asked what will happen to the TAC, whose current charter expires in May 2017, going forward. Mr. Knapp said that he expects the advisory committee will continue but that will be up to the new FCC leadership. – Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org