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GAO Wants More Spectrum Sharing

The Government Accounting Office wants the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, the White House's telecommunications-policy adviser, to be more flexible and cooperative in their approach to spectrum management.

The recommendation was prompted by congressional concerns that spectrum policy had not kept up with increased demands for spectrum from new services and emergency communications.

In a GAO report issued last Friday, the office said FCC and NTIA "do not have a sufficient understanding of the spectrum environment including how and how much spectrum is used, and lack agreed-upon models to assess spectrum-efficient technologies."

GAO had three recommendations for the two: 1) Determine whether it is feasible to revamp the spectrum allocation system to make it easier for emerging technologies. 2) Get up to speed on the current spectrum environment and 3) Increase joint efforts to develop "new models and methodologies."

The FCC agreed to work with NTIA, while pointing out it had already begun that process and taken various other actions toward spectrum policy reform stemming from a spectrum task force FCC Chairman Michael Powell set up in 2002.