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Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options (2011)

Chapter: Appendix C: Statement of Task

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
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Appendix C
Statement of Task

An expert committee will be convened to conduct a comprehensive assessment of wireless technology and application trends and their implications for spectrum management and policy. The study will be grounded in an assessment of how technology capabilities are evolving, including the implications of emerging technologies (such as software radios, smart antennas, and other intelligent signal processing), architectural alternatives (such as base station-based and peer-to-peer), services (such as 3rd and 4th generation mobile, local area networking, and fixed broadband), and applications. Building on this technology assessment, the study will also examine the interplay between the technical, economic, and policy issues. Key policy issues to be considered include spectrum supply and demand, alternative spectrum management approaches (including unlicensed approaches), standards-setting processes and forums, and how the international environment is evolving and affecting U.S. policy options. The committee is seeking broad input on these issues from academic and industry experts and diverse stakeholders.

In addition, the committee will convene a workshop examining the present and prospective needs of public- and private-sector spectrum users and technology and policy options for more efficient and effective use of spectrum. The scope of topics to be considered in the workshop will be very similar to that of the broader study, but with additional emphasis on federal, state, and local government spectrum uses.

The committee will issue a brief report of the workshop. The committee will also produce a final report with consensus findings and recommendations.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
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Page 99
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2011. Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13051.
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Page 100
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The use of radio-frequency communication--commonly referred to as wireless communication--is becoming more pervasive as well as more economically and socially important. Technological progress over many decades has enabled the deployment of several successive generations of cellular telephone technology, which is now used by many billions of people worldwide; the near-universal addition of wireless local area networking to personal computers; and a proliferation of actual and proposed uses of wireless communications. The flood of new technologies, applications, and markets has also opened up opportunities for examining and adjusting the policy framework that currently governs the management and use of the spectrum and the institutions involved in it, and models for allocating spectrum and charging for it have come under increasing scrutiny.

Yet even as many agree that further change to the policy framework is needed, there is debate about precisely how the overall framework should be changed, what trajectory its evolution should follow, and how dramatic or rapid the change should be. Many groups have opinions, positions, demands, and desires related to these questions--reflecting multiple commercial, social, and political agendas and a mix of technical, economic, and social perspectives.

The development of technologies and associated policy and regulatory regimes are often closely coupled, an interplay apparent as early as the 1910s, when spectrum policy emerged in response to the growth of radio communications. As outlined in this report, current and ongoing technological advances suggest the need for a careful reassessment of the assumptions that inform spectrum policy in the United States today.

This book seeks to shine a spotlight on 21st-century technology trends and to outline the implications of emerging technologies for spectrum management in ways that the committee hopes will be useful to those setting future spectrum policy.

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