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Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
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).

May 31, 2000

News Media Contact:
Meribeth McCarrick, (202) 418-0654
Linda Paris, (202) 418-7121


Washington, D.C.--William E. Kennard, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, today called for an aggressive program to avert a spectrum drought at a time when the promise of wireless data is greatest:

"All of the new technologies-- mobile phones, faxes, wireless computers-- are consuming spectrum faster than we can make it available, and we are in danger of a spectrum drought. We need to find spectrum to build the web of wireless applications that will continue to fuel our economic growth. The demand for spectrum is simply outstripping supply."

Chairman Kennard outlined three key elements of his plan:

  1. Establish as a goal that spectrum become like any other commodity that flows fluidly in the marketplace.

  2. Look to technology to provide better spectrum management tools, for example, ultrawideband and software-defined radios.

  3. Promote greater spectrum efficiency.

As part of this plan, Chairman Kennard convened a public forum today on the development of secondary markets in spectrum. A fluid secondary market could instantly match short-term supply with short-term demand. Kennard noted that there is no inherent reason why a spot market for wireless bandwidth cannot develop, just like the ones for petroleum and pork bellies and T1 lines.

Chairman Kennard said, " One of the Commission's most important responsibilities is the management of our nation's airwaves. Spectrum is the lifeblood of wireless services, and spectrum management is becoming increasingly difficult and complex as a result of the tremendous growth in these services. This forum will help us understand the issues involved to go the next step in spectrum management. I want us to be ahead of the curve. I want to have rules and policies that allow a secondary market for spectrum so that it flows as freely in the marketplace as any commodity."