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The US government wants to create an experimental city for testing wireless tech

The US government wants to create an experimental city for testing wireless tech


Like Rapture, but for spectrum sharing

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The US government has for years been trying to encourage "spectrum sharing" as a way of getting more and faster wireless connections around the country. The idea is to convince the organizations that own rights to transmit data over specific airwaves — such as the US military and private TV broadcasters — to allow some of their airwaves to be used by other people; say, individuals for Wi-Fi connections. Now the government is explaining in greater detail its plans to create an experimental town somewhere in the US to see just what that spectrum sharing arrangement could look like — and what problems might arise.

In a request for comment posted by two government agencies last week — the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) — the US government outlines what it's looking for in terms of its experimental "model city." Specifically, it wants "one or more" cities across the US to volunteer to set up a test area within their borders that would support "rapid experimentation and development of policies, underlying technologies, and system capabilities." However, what that would actually look like on the ground remains quite vague. The government itself isn't even quite sure how the model city would be run — by the FCC and NTIA, by the city itself, or by private companies in connection with local government — which is partially why it's opening the floor for public comments through the end of August. Submit your own here.