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Commissioner Ness' Statement


Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
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Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

For Immediate Release
November 18, 1999

News Media contact:
Audrey Spivack 202-418-0500


Washington, D.C. The FCC today issued a Policy Statement outlining guiding principlesfor spectrum management activities as we enter the new millennium. These principles aredesigned to enhance competition and to encourage the development of emergingtelecommunications technologies.

The Policy Statement will serve as a guidepost for the reallocation of approximately 200megahertz of spectrum for a broad range of new radio communications services. This spectrumhas been made available through transfer of frequencies from Government uses and fromreallocation of frequencies used by existing non-Government radio services.

As noted in the Commission's En Banc hearing on Spectrum Management held in April of1999, demand for spectrum has increased dramatically as a result of explosive growth in wirelesscommunications. In response to this demand, Chairman Kennard's draft FCC Strategic Plancalled upon the Commission to define policies that would maximize the efficient use of spectrumand make more spectrum available while ensuring that the public interest is served. An aggressiveand innovative approach to managing spectrum is necessary to meet these goals and includes thefollowing principles:

  • Allow flexibility in allocations as appropriate, including harmonized rules where applicable, to allow licensees to better respond to market demand.

  • Promote new spectrum efficient technologies, such as those that support ultra-wideband and spread spectrum operations.

  • Ensure that important communications needs, such as public safety, are met.

  • Improve the efficiency of our assignment processes through streamlining and innovative techniques, including consideration of new approaches such as band manager licenses.

  • Encourage the development of secondary markets for spectrum to ensure full utilization.

  • Continue to seek out ways to make more spectrum available, for example, through refarming methods, user fees or by reclaiming existing spectrum.

The Policy Statement inventories spectrum that is available for allocation and outlines proposals currently under consideration:
  • Expand the General Wireless Communications Service (GWCS) spectrum to 50 MHz, from the current 25 MHz, and relocate this service to the 4940-4990 MHz band at the request of the National Telecommunications and Information Agency.

  • Allocate 90 MHz for Advanced Mobile and Fixed Communications Service (AMFCS) at 1710-1755 MHz, 2110-2150 MHz and 2160-2165 MHz. This will be a new flexible use service available for mobile and fixed wireless service. One possible use of this spectrum would be for the introduction of future "third generation (3G)" mobile telecommunications systems, also known as "International Mobile Telecommunications - 2000 (IMT-2000)".

  • Establish a new Land Mobile Communications Service (LMCS) in 10 megahertz of spectrum at 1390-1395 MHz, 1427-1429 MHz and 1432-1435 MHz. This allocation will provide additional spectrum to relieve congestion in the existing private land mobile bands and provide opportunities for use of new, spectrum efficient technologies that would improve and enhance business radio communications.

  • Reallocate the 48 MHz at 698-766 MHz (TV channels 52-59) for Fixed, Mobile and new Broadcast services for commercial uses following the same approach the Commission adopted recently in reallocating the 36 megahertz at 746-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz bands (TV channels 60-62 and 64-66).

  • Allocate 10 MHz of additional spectrum for Fixed and Mobile service in two bands at 1670-1675 MHz, and 2385-2390 MHz and adopt appropriate service rules to permit licensees broad flexibility in the types of service to be offered and the technologies used to provide those services.
As part of the Commission's efforts to effectively manage spectrum in the public interest,Chairman Kennard also announced today the creation of a Spectrum Policy Executive Committee. Several entities have proposed formation of such a committee in both the Spectrum ManagementEn Banc and public forums held on the strategic plan.

The Bureau and Office Chiefs involved in spectrum issues will participate on theCommittee under the direction of Dale Hatfield, Chief of the Office of Engineering andTechnology. This Committee is tasked with three major objectives: (1) to address broad policyissues affecting spectrum management; (2) to implement the initiatives consistent with theprinciples articulated in the Policy Statement; and (3) to coordinate interbureau issues. ThisCommittee will bring focus and policy direction in a time of increased demand for spectrum.

Action by the Commission November 18, 1999, by Policy Statement (FCC 99-354). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Powell, and Tristani; with Commissioner Furchtgott-Roth approving in part/dissenting in part; Commissioners Ness and Furchtgott-Roth issuingseparate statements.


Report No. ET 99-6

Office of Engineering and Technology contact: Alan Stillwell (202) 418-2925