Electromagnetic frequencies used for wireless communications
When we talk about spectrum policy innovation in 2020, dynamic spectrum sharing rests at the cutting edge. It’s become a powerful tool for squeezing the most value out of high-quality spectrum and meeting the growing demand for wireless services. Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) may have been the Federal Communications Commission’s first major foray into dynamic sharing, but it was hardly our last.
Wireless technologies have become a fundamental part of our daily life in the 21st century. They give us the ability to make efficient use of our time, connect us any time and anywhere, and make our lives better in innumerable ways. In order to function, our wireless devices need to connect to cellular sites that provide good coverage both outdoors and indoors. To do that increasingly requires placement of sites closer to populated areas – creating new challenges for both providers and local governments.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), the nation’s spectrum and communications lab, released a new official code base for the Irregular Terrain Model (ITM) for use by experts and non-experts alike. ITM is the fifth propagation model code base that ITS has released on GitHub. In addition to the C++ propagation model source code, ITS published packages that target the .NET development environment. ITS also code signs its propagation software.
The telecom industry turned out in force to oppose a recent Pentagon proposal to build a shared fifth-generation wireless network, with a familiar pot-stirrer making an exception: Dish Network. The satellite-TV company submitted a list of suggestions for the Department of Defense, which is exploring 5G technology for its own operations.
Back in 2017, 5G was a big focus of my remarks. But back then, 5G was largely hypothetical and aspirational. This year, I’m speaking to you just a few days after the release of the first 5G iPhone. Over the past three-plus years, 5G has gotten real—very real. How did we get from there to here? Obviously, many of you in the audience led the way. But I’d like to think the Federal Communications Commission put a tailwind at your back. I’d like to walk through the actions we’ve taken at the FCC to accelerate the arrival of the 5G revolution.
The giant elephant in this virtual room: the completely indefensible proposal to create a government-sponsored wholesale wireless network. For the last few years this “idea” has been floated, rejected, floated, rejected, and just recently floated again. Now, it seems to be under consideration once again by some at the highest levels of our government.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the items below are tentatively on the agenda for the November Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 18, 2020:
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief a host of problems that at their core are about fairness—issues of racial justice, economic security, and the digital divide, among others. I am an optimist, and believe that technology, and the wireless communications sector in particular, has an important role to play here.
At our November open meeting, the Federal Communications Commission will be considering the following items: