Wireless Opportunities: Improving Federal Radio Systems and Freeing Spectrum for New Uses
May 17, 2017
Freeing up more spectrum for consumer and business use is one of the best levers to spur additional wireless innovation, and one of the largest opportunities in the quest to maximize the efficient use of spectrum is in upgrading legacy federal radio systems. Various federal agencies hold vast swaths of spectrum that could be used more efficiently or put to more valuable use, but agencies have little incentive to give up control. Mechanisms to fund and hasten federal users’ upgrade of legacy radio systems could potentially be a key tool to help free up spectrum. But to gain buy-in and cooperation, transition mechanisms must preserve the flexibility for government radio users to achieve their mission as their spectrum needs evolve.
ITIF hosted a conversation discussing spectrum policy and the opportunities and next steps in efforts to unlock federal airwaves for innovative new uses.