Spectrum summit will scope out macro level

Spectrum summit will scope out macro level

A Commerce Department spectrum summit in Washington on April 4 and 5 will 'step back and take a 20,000-foot view' of the way the electromagnetic spectrum is divided among government and commercial uses, National Telecommunications and Information Administration head Nancy J. Victory said today.

'We're managing a finite resource, and we're pressing up against the finiteness,' said Victory, an assistant secretary of Commerce. 'Are our principles right? Are our methods efficient enough, not only domestically but where other governments are concerned?'

As other agencies have recently done, notably the Defense Department, NTIA is soliciting private-sector ideas. Victory said she hopes to hear innovative ways of auctioning spectrum and defining rights to it without specifying the technology used. Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell and David Gross, deputy assistant secretary of State for information policy, will participate along with other government speakers.

'One question we'll look at is to what extent the principles of allocation should differ depending on whether the use is public or private,' Victory said. 'In defense and public safety, reliability is the most important principle. In commercial use, it's not reliability but capacity. There's a tradeoff.'

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