The Department of Defense Is Going To Share Wireless Spectrum

Posted Jul 23, 2013

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has been holding a large amount of wireless spectrum for military operations, flight combat training, and drone training.  The DoD is now going to give some of this spectrum to wireless carriers, according to The Wall Street Journal.  There has been disputes with wireless carriers over spectrum use within the U.S. military.  Fortunately, the Defense Department has decided to compromise in time for an upcoming auction.  Carriers will be bidding for spectrum within the 1755 to 1780 MHz bands before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) releases them for spectrum auction.  This spectrum is currently being used exclusively by the U.S. military.


The Department of Defense has “significant reservations” about releasing this spectrum, but the U.S. government bowed to pressure after a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives last week.  The bill would require the FCC to include spectrum bands that carriers want in auctions.  The companies want additional spectrum resources because of intense competition and the rising adoption rates of mobile technology.


The bad news is that it will cost around $3.5 billion for most activities to be moved out of the band without losing military capabilities.


?At first blush, the DOD proposal doesn?t seem to make much sense,? stated National Association of Broadcasters Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton. ?While we are not opposed in principle to sharing where it works, the DOD has done none of the legwork necessary to even begin the conversation.?