President Trump signed a memorandum today directed the executive branch to develop a national spectrum strategy. Among other things, the memo stresses the importance of efficient government spectrum use, spectrum sharing, and leading the world in 5G deployment.
David J. Redl, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, first mentioned the administration’s plan to develop the national spectrum strategy at an April meeting of the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC) (TR Daily, April 25), but administration officials have refused to discuss the strategy planning in depth since then.
“While winning the race to 5G will require significant private sector investment, the federal government can and should make policy decisions that promote innovation and capital expenditure,” Michael Kratsios, deputy U.S. chief technology officer and deputy assistant to the president for technology policy, told reporters during a call this morning to outline the spectrum memo. “A spectrum strategy will help create a road map for industry to better guide their business decisions. Additionally, it will provide clarity to federal agencies who rely on spectrum to carry out their mission.”
Another official on the call also stressed the private-sector nature of the 5G effort, in response to a question about a proposal that was floated by a senior National Security Council official to create a government-built 5G network (TR Daily, Jan. 29).
“We very much see this as a private sector-driven 5G roll out and encourage others to see it as that also,” said the official, who also noted comments by National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow at a recent White House 5G Summit (TR Daily, Sept. 28). “This is the American way.”
Mr. Kudlow stressed the importance of relying on “the free enterprise, free market economy” to grow the economy.
“It is the policy of the United States to use radiofrequency spectrum (spectrum) as efficiently and effectively as possible to help meet our economic, national security, science, safety, and other Federal mission goals now and in the future. To best achieve this policy, the Nation requires a balanced, forward-looking, flexible, and sustainable approach to spectrum management,” the memo released today says.
“As the National Security Strategy of 2017 made clear, access to spectrum is a critical component of the technological capabilities that enable economic activity and protect national security. Wireless communications and associated data applications establish a foundation for high wage jobs and national prosperity. While American industry continues to extract greater and greater value from spectrum, each technological leap also increases demands on its usage. Those demands have never been greater than today, with the advent of autonomous vehicles and precision agriculture, the expansion of commercial space operations, and the burgeoning Internet of Things signaling a nearly insatiable demand for spectrum access,” the memo adds. Moreover, it is imperative that America be first in fifth-generation (5G) wireless technologies – wireless technologies capable of meeting the high-capacity, low-latency, and high-speed requirements that can unleash innovation broadly across diverse sectors of the economy and the public sector. Flexible, predictable spectrum access by the United States Government will help ensure that Federal users can meet current and future mission requirements for a broad range of both communications- and non-communications-based systems.” Continue reading →