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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Released: April 1, 1999


The Commission will hold an en banc hearing on spectrum management on April 6, 1999 from 9 am to 1 pm in the Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street S.W., Washington, DC.

The purpose of the en banc is to provide the Commissioners insight on current spectrum management policies and practices from the viewpoint of users and to identify options for developing future spectrum management policy. It is not the purpose of the en banc to address specific needs or requirements of any particular service or industry, but rather to take a broad view of spectrum management policies and procedures and to address how spectrum management could best be handled in the future.

The en banc will consist of three panels. Panel 1 will discuss spectrum management fundamentals. Panelists include the following FCC staff: Dale Hatfield, Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology; Bruce Franca, Deputy Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology; Tom Sugrue, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau; Tom Tycz, Chief, Satellite and Radiocommunications Division, International Bureau; and Robert Pepper, Chief, Office of Plans and Policy; and William T. Hatch, Acting Associate Administrator, Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA.

Panel 2 will discuss what is working well with the FCC's current spectrum management process and what is not working. The broad topics the panelists will address include, for example, the following three questions:

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of providing spectrum for new services by the following approaches: a) increased sharing; b) requiring technical improvements to existing services (such as reducing channel bandwidths); c) reallocation of spectrum through a "band clearing" approach, i.e., the mandatory relocation of existing users by a date certain; and d) reallocation of spectrum from one service to another using an "emerging technologies" approach where new entrants are responsible for relocating existing users?

2. The traditional distinctions between services, such as fixed and mobile, appear to be lessening in recent years. Recently, in allocating spectrum to new services the Commission has attempted to provide licensees with broad discretion in the services they can provide. When should the Commission promote more flexible use of the spectrum versus when should it adopt more detailed technical and operational regulations for the use of the spectrum?

3. Certain uses of the radio spectrum may involve substantial non-economic factors that may be very difficult to assess during the normal spectrum allocation process. Examples include public safety services, the radio amateur service, radio astronomy, and certain unlicensed uses. How can the Commission properly take into account the needs of these types of services in making allocation decisions as well as international considerations in the development of spectrum management policy and licensing decisions?

Panelists for panel 2 include: Lynn Claudy, Senior Vice President of the Science and Technology Department, NAB; Mark Crosby, President, Industrial Telecommunications Association; Mike Kennedy, Corporate Vice President and Director, Motorola Inc.; Henry M. Rivera, Shook, Hardy & Bacon; Phil Salas, Director of Radio Technology, Alcatel USA; John Stanton, CEO, Western Wireless Corporation; and Leslie Taylor, President, Leslie Taylor Associates.

Panel 3 will discuss new approaches to spectrum management. The broad topics these panelists will address include, for example, the following two questions:

1. What approach or approaches should the Commission use to manage the spectrum in the future? How would the suggested approach address issues such as international considerations or policy goals such as fostering affordable services to rural and underserved areas?

2. Are there technological developments that have occurred or are foreseeable that would fundamentally change the way the Commission should manage the spectrum?

Panelists for panel 3 include: Thomas W. Hazlett, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute and Professor at UC-Davis (invited); Dewayne Hendricks, General Manager Wireless Business Unit, Com 21, Inc.; Dr. Charles L. Jackson, Jackson Associates; Kalle Kontson, Vice President and Division Manager, IIT Research Institute; Joseph Mitola III, Consulting Scientist, The MITRE Corporation; Dr. Eli Noam, Professor of Finance & Economics, Columbia University; and Ralph Petroff, President & Chief Executive Officer, Time Domain Corporation.

Live coverage of the en banc will be available through RealAudio from the FCC website at www.fcc.gov/realaudio/. Information regarding submitting comments will be provided on the FCC website following the hearing.

For further information, contact Jack Linthicum at 202-418-2441 voice, 202-418-1918 fax and e-mail jlinthic@fcc.gov.

-- FCC --