clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Department of Defense plans to share wireless spectrum after being blasted by Congress

New, 13 comments
Cellphone Tower (Flickr)
Cellphone Tower (Flickr)

The US department of defense has long held wireless spectrum for use in military operations, flight combat training, and even drone training programs, but now the agency has announced plans to give some of that spectrum to the wireless carriers. According to The Wall Street Journal, the DOD said that it would work to "relocate" out of the 1755 to 1780 Mhz bands and make them available to carriers, though there are few details on exactly how that transition would work. The DOD said it would cost about $3.5 billion to move much of its operations to the 1780 to 1850 Mhz bands which it already operates in, with some additional operations moving into the 2025 to 2100 Mhz bands currently used for broadcast TV. Still, there's no timeline for when this move might happen or how the military would work with broadcasters to share spectrum.

The government's ready to spend $3.5 billion to make this happen

This attempt at increased collaboration comes less than a month after Congress blasted the DOD for its unwillingness to share wireless spectrum. During the hearing, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) was particularly critical of the DOD, asking Teri Takai, the US Defense Department's chief information officer, why the Defense Department had not yet given any estimates or timeframes for shifting its systems to away from the highly-desired spectrum it currently uses. "Why wouldn't the two of you [the DOD and the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration] sit down and talk about it? Why am I even having to ask this question again?," Eshoo asked. Surprisingly, it seems that those talks might come sooner than Congress thought last month — though we'll have to wait and see exactly what the DOD will do to make this a smooth transition.