In April 2011, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration reported that a vast majority of Federal agencies are meeting their original relocation timeframe and cost estimates. NTIA expects the five remaining agencies to complete their relocation from the 1710-1755 MHz band by April 2013. Specifically, the Department of Defense, Tennessee Valley Authority, United States Department of Agriculture, and most of the Department of Energy systems will relocate by April 2011. The remaining Department of Energy systems will relocate by April 2013. The Department of Interior will complete its relocation effort by April 2013.
Recap: Using Spectrum to Advance Public Safety, Promote Broadband, Create Jobs, and Reduce the Deficit04/12/2011
FCC Chapter: 5.5
Congress should consider building upon the success of the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act (CSEA) to fund additional approaches to facilitate incumbent relocation.
The CSEA encourages federal incumbents to clear spectrum not being put to its most productive use and facilitates the updating of agency networks for enhanced broadband capabilities. The CSEA establishes a Spectrum Relocation Fund to reimburse federal agencies operating on certain frequencies that have been reallocated to non-federal use. With certain revisions, CSEA could become an even more effective tool for relocating federal incumbents from reallocated spectrum and for developing technological advances that will enable future reallocations of federal spectrum for wireless broadband.
Congress should consider improving the CSEA to ensure that a full range of costs are covered to provide federal agencies adequate incentives and assistance, including up-front planning, technology development and staffing to support the relocation effort.
Agencies should be compensated for using commercial services and non-spectrum-based operations, in addition to dedicated spectrum-based system deployments.
Congress should revise the CSEA to provide for payments of relocation funds to federal users that vacate spectrum and make use of commercial networks instead of alternative dedicated federal spectrum. Expanding the definition of reimbursable costs to include a federal incumbent's costs incurred to obtain telecommunications services from another existing network will promote agency use of shared commercial infrastructure, thereby freeing federal spectrum to be licensed for broadband deployment.