ments) rather than quantitative. Recognizing that private-sector spectrum needs are also likely to grow, the plan identifies crucial improvements—automation and analytical tools, standardized generation of spectrum requirements, and spectrum forecasting methods. The near-term strategy includes 10 elements for federal use of spectrum:

  • Use of commercial services where feasible;

  • Smart technologies such as software-defined (cognitive) radios;

  • Flexible approaches to incentives for making underutilized spectrum available to other entities;

  • A range of public safety issues, including interoperability, spectrum and infrastructure sharing, and expanded microwave backhaul;

  • Considerations for continuity of government;

  • Improving processing time for frequency assignment requests;

  • Improving methods for spectrum valuation and incentivizing economic efficiency;

  • Improving technical efficiency by such methods as optimizing sharing and tradeoff analysis;

  • Trend forecasting; and

  • Better interagency and federal/private coordination.

The plan identifies two midterm strategies for improving spectrum management. First, it describes a unified approach to coordinating spectrum management at the federal level across the FCC, NTIA, and DOD. It also describes initial plans for creating a technology test bed to support exploration of new technologies and methods to share spectrum.

The Department of Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, convened as part of the department’s spectrum policy initiative, issued a series of reports in late 2008 that examine definitions of efficient spectrum use, mechanisms for improving operational efficiency, the transition of federal services to more efficient technologies, a spectrum-sharing test bed, and federal-nonfederal spectrum sharing.39

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