DoD surrenders spectrum

The Department of Defense and other agencies will surrender parts of their allotted airwaves for auction to commercial providers of third generation, or 3G, cellular telephone services, the Commerce Department announced. The cost of upgrading affected government radio systems to other frequencies is estimated to be $548 million.

The agency also submitted draft legislation to Congress requiring spectrum auction winners to pay government relocation costs into a central fund.

These announcements were part of a July 23 viability assessment released by the Commerce Department that stated 90 MHz of radio spectrum now held by government may be made available for 3G service. That estimate included the 1710 to 1755 MHz range of frequencies now used exclusively by federal agencies, such as the Defense Department.

The Defense Department will relocate its radio systems to other bands no later than December 2008; the winning bidders of that spectrum will pay the costs. Other agencies required to submit relocation planning assignments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration include the departments of Justice, Treasury and Transportation and the U.S. Postal Service.


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