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After the Spectrum Inventory

The legislation for a spectrum inventory is gaining momentum and hearings will be held shortly.  This week I sent a paper to the NTIA Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee on what is likely to happen after the spectrum inventory is completed.  My prediction: gridlock.

Let us take the example of the technical issues in the AWS-3/M2Z controversy.  Everyone agrees that the band has no primary occupants in it anywhere in the US.  The key technical controversy that has dragged on for 3+ years is how the band can be used without impacting the incumbents in the lower adjacent band - mainly T-Mobile.  This, in turn revolves on what constitutes "harmful interference" and to a lesser degree on what receiver immunity is reasonable before an adjacent channel users  can complain of interference.  So if this is the mess we get with a completely vacant band, imagine the mess we will get with bands that have use in some areas but not others and have intermittent users.

I propose that we decrease this controversy by having NTIA and FCC work in parallel with the inventory to improve the definition of harmful interference, develop improved transparent procedures for making harmful interference determinations in a timely way, and clarify receiver expectations.

Otherwise the inventory will likely be, in the words of the Bard of Avon:

... a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

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