JED - January 2010 - (Page 24)

washing ton repor t CONGRESS CONSIDERS SPECTRUM REALLOCATION In recent months, the US Congress has begun considering measures that would require an inventory of each spectrum band, paving the way for the government to sell off bands deemed to be “underutilized,” ostensibly to the commercial wireless industry. The Radio Spectrum Inventory Acts – HR 3125, introduced last summer by US Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), and S 649, introduced last spring by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) – would each require an inventory of the spectrum bands, though the Senate version specifies an inventory that would occur every two years and encompass the bands from 300 MHz to 3.5 GHz, while the House bill does not include the biennial notation and includes bands from 225 MHz to 10 GHz. Both bills require that the inventory report include: “the licenses or government user assigned in the band; the total spectrum allocation, by band, of each licensee or government user (in percentage terms and in sum); the number of intentional radiators and end-user intentional radiators that have been deployed in the band with each license or government user; and if such information is available – the type of intentional radiators operating in the band; the type of unlicensed intentional radiators authorized to operate in the band; contour maps that illustrate signal coverage and strength; and the approximate geo-location of base stations or fixed transmitters.” Both versions of the bill also require creation of a centralized Web portal that would be used by each government agency to make its inventory available to the public. And they each require the information in these portals to be updated in “near real-time fashion” whenever there is a change in allocation or licensing. The major issues from the US military side center on exactly how “underutilized” spectrum is defined – especially given that the military uses bands that receive signals and do not actively transmit. There is also the issue of how placement of the entire US inventory spectrum on-line would allow anyone to see exactly what bands are being used. Another key issue is authority. The Senate bill gives determination of national security interest to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is part of the Department of Commerce and not the Department of Defense. The House bill gives authority to the NTIA, but also to the FCC. Speaking at the AOC’s EW Infrastructure Conference Dec. 2 in Atlanta, Ken Miller, AOC director of industry and government affairs, noted that “the DOD has to provide the Department of Commerce clear and convincing evidence that information on what they’re doing in the spectrum is harmful to the national security if it’s released to the public. And then, of course, Department of Commerce has the final say.” Also speaking at the AOC conference, Jason “Boots” Winn from the Joint Electronic Warfare Center’s Electromagnetic Red Team, discussed the impact on testing. “We need to be able to test the entire spectrum of this particular threat with our weapons systems in a reasonable environment. You can’t do it in a simulator,” he said. “I deal with this as we try to find opportunities to test. There are very few places where you can do these tests where you get minimal GPS jamming, minimal comms jamming because it impacts the FAA, it impacts banking systems, it impacts everybody. “We have no idea what our stuff is going to do in a true environment. We need 200-300 miles of range. And we need to be able to operate our systems [across] the whole spectrum and [understand] how we’re going to manage it. Otherwise we’re going to show up to the war unprepared.” The Senate bill has already passed out of committee and last month, the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet held hearings on HR 3125 with five witnesses from wireless, telecommunications and broadcast arenas, and one from the defense industry. Testifying before the subcommittee, Ray O. Johnson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Lockheed Martin, noted that the company supported the act with modifications, specifically dealing with how the bill looks at spectrum utilization. “It is also critical to recognize and reflect that a highly effective spectrum-dependent system may not transmit at all, or only infrequently,” Johnson told the committee. Johnson also discussed the need to preserve the classified license to protect sensitive spectrum usage information from being disclosed and the need to recognize our international cooperative agr eements supporting allied interoperability. And Johnson also questioned the annual review component in the House bill, noting that it might have a dampening effect on industry development. “This review may create an impression of volatility and instability in spectrum allocations, thus impacting long-term research and development, acquisition and deployment of new systems and solutions,” he said. – E. Richardson a The Journal of Electronic Defense | January 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - January 2010

JED - January 2010
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Asia-Pacifi c EW: All Eyes on China?
Maneuver in the EM Domain
Technology Survey: Surface Naval Expendables and Launchers
EW 101
AOC Industry/Institute/University Members
Index of Advertisers
JED Sales Offices

JED - January 2010