Federal Communications Commission

Spectrum Task Force Poised to Drive the Implementation of the National Broadband Plan’s Spectrum Agenda

April 26th, 2010 by Julius Knapp - Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology

 By Julius Knapp, Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, and Ruth Milkman, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

Last month, the Commission unveiled goals for its part in a more efficient, effective and creative America - one where our entire broadband ecosystem of networks, devices, content and applications is resilient and flourishing.  Spectrum access, innovation and deployment play such a fundamental role in how we get there.

The promise of mobile broadband hinges on the availability of spectrum.  And the growing demand for spectrum is not simply a matter of making sure we meet the communications needs of the some 275 million cell phone users in the United States.  It’s about innovative devices like smart phones and wireless tablets that put the world’s wealth of information right at our fingertips.  It’s about new apps that keep us connected with our family and friends and enrich our lives.  It’s about improving our energy efficiency through the Smart Grid.  It’s about improving our health and reducing costs through new age wireless mobile medical devices that allow a patient’s heart rate to be monitored continuously and gives diabetics real-time glucose monitoring and insulin delivery.  It’s about our future.

The breadth of innovative spectrum-based applications and services that can improve the quality of life for Americans and U.S. Global competitiveness is remarkable and we have only just begun to tap into the boundless power of our imaginations.  So it’s not surprising that the National Broadband Plan (NBP) recognizes spectrum policy as the most important government tool to promote wireless and mobile broadband. 

Chairman Genachowski has asked us to chair a Spectrum Task Force, composed of the leaders of the offices and bureaus that deal with spectrum: the Enforcement, International, Media and Public Safety Bureaus, and the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, along with the Office of Engineering and Technology and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.  Job #1 for the Spectrum Task Force is to drive the implementation of the spectrum recommendations in the NBP. 

We’ve already received some great feedback about the BETA launch of the Spectrum Dashboard, and we’ll be making changes on a rolling basis.  So keep that feedback coming, and we’ll keep you posted on our progress in implementing the other recommendations of the NBP.

For more information on the upcoming work of the Spectrum Task Force, be sure to check out

One Response to “Spectrum Task Force Poised to Drive the Implementation of the National Broadband Plan’s Spectrum Agenda”

  1. Guest says:

    Chief Knapp, Chief Milkman, I must ask..

    Is it realistic that a newly created FCC Spectrum Taskforce can really foster the needed cultural changes inside of other federal agencies--agencies who generally control their own spectrum and are essentially not under FCC purview? How can the FCC facilitate substantive spectrum policy reforms & innovation to get to the benefit that such changes may create for the American public? Is it be more realistic to expect that an Executive Branch Order or Mandate is required to achieve such goals? Thanks.

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