Google, Nokia & Others Push For Efficient Spectrum Use

Google Fiber, Nokia, the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association, Federated Wireless, and Mimosa Networks have all banded together to push the FCC to employ modernization tweaks to their management practices that would allow for more efficient use and distribution of spectrum. Current rules allow “full-band, full-arc”licensing, a practice wherein a number of satellite stations cover a single wireless frequency band in its entirety, and do so across a large geographic swath. In most cases, the license for such action lies with a single spectrum owner. This inefficient practice is not the only one that the various companies and alliances above are fighting against, though, and they are meeting opposition at every turn from big-name spectrum holders and media conglomerates such as Disney and CBS. The battle is focusing mainly on the bands between 3.7 and 4.2 gigahertz, bands that are used in fixed satellite network services.

The practice of full-band, full-arc spectrum management essentially means that multiple stations, which could handle a bigger workload, are devoting themselves to a single band and are doing so in a daisy-chain formation. The implications are quite obvious, but many bigger names in the spectrum industry are using the setup to their advantage to retain strict control of certain bands. In a filing to the FCC on the matter, Google Fiber struck a blow against this practice, saying that it "creates inefficiencies that can no longer be ignored". They also called out the FCC's database maintenance practices, saying that the international database in its current form lists a number of inactive frequencies as licensed, or lists licenses with the wrong station or at a geographic location lacking a station, and is keeping free spectrum from being used as it should be. An investigation by the Engineers for the Integrity of Broadcast Auxiliary Services Spectrum revealed that the FCC has at least 200 such incorrect files.

While industry players are not taking these suggestions lying down, Google goes on to insist that the arguments being presented by these entities simply aren't convincing enough to warrant ignoring the efficiency improvements offered by the suggestions at hand. At the very least, Google notes that these comments have thus far fallen short of proving that there is no need to reevaluate current policies for any purpose, and Google even posits that many of the things being said are outright inaccurate. The filing with these comments went into the FCC's system on January 24th and they have yet to respond.

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Daniel Fuller

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, voice assistants, AI technology development, and hot gaming news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]