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A Top FCC Officals Mentions "Drone"!

In the above tweet Comm. Pai mentioned the word "drone". This should not be news since the Google search at left shows "about 128,000,000 results" for searching for this word. However, a search of FCC's voluminous website shows a lot fewer, actually 30. And most of these do not deal with the drone issues we see in news sources every day:

  • A March 13, 2014 speech by Comm. Clyburn mentions that the then pending "Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act would limit the use of drones in U.S. airspace". This bill from Rep. Markey has not passed the House.

  • The April 27, 2015 Report and Order in ET Docket No. 12-338 states that in the 4400-4940 MHz band "Typical Federal uses include, but are not limited to, point-to-point microwave, drone vehicle control, and telemetry" and makes no mention of civil drones.

  • Comm. O'Rielly's April 28, 2015 PCIA speech mentions possible new types of cellular infrastructure says "Some people have suggested such ideas as a series of balloons, solar-powered drones, or small satellites."

It is frankly puzzling given how much discussion there is everywhere in DC about drones that FCC has so little interest in the topic.

Drones need airspace, regulated by FAA. Drones also need spectrum, regulated by FCC.

Drones compete for that spectrum with other incumbent of future users.

Some drone use of spectrum may be too burdensome for other users.

Some bands may be perfectly appropriate for drones use.

How is this ever going to be resolved considering FCC's apathy for this topic?


Comm. Pai apparently is on a roll with the drone issue as his 8th Floor colleagues and the FCC staff continue their deafening silence that drones on.

Perhaps this is confirmation of your blogger's hypothesis that there is a real throughput shortfall in FCC's present process and resources for resolving spectrum policy issues and, like Donald Trump, the incentive auction has "sucked all the oxygen out of the room".

The September 17th tweet below is his second public mention of "drone" in less than a week, setting a new record for any FCC official! Perhaps he didn't get the memo that any FCC mention of this topic is forbidden?

Now can one of the FCC commissioners take a similar interest in millimeter wave technology and FCC's apparent "War on Millimeterwaves"?

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