[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 248 (Tuesday, December 28, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 81558-81559]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-32491]



47 CFR Part 5

[ET Docket No. 10-237; FCC 10-198]

Promoting More Efficient Use of Spectrum Through Dynamic Spectrum 
Use Technologies

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: In this document, the Commission seeks to promote and 
facilitate wireless innovation to ensure that the promise of dynamic 
spectrum access technologies can be fully realized and applied across 
more of the radio spectrum. A dynamic sharing approach would, for 
example, allow devices to identify and use slices of spectrum that are 
available in a particular location for a limited time--from as little 
as few seconds to as much as several days. Specifically, the Commission 
seeks comment on the variety of ways in which dynamic spectrum access 
radios and techniques can promote more intensive and efficient use of 
the radio spectrum, and the potential that these technological 
innovations have for enabling more effective management of spectrum.

DATES: Comments must be filed on or before February 28, 2011, and reply 
comments must be filed on or before March 28, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rodney Small, Office of Engineering 
and Technology, (202) 418-2452, e-mail: [email protected], TTY (202) 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ET Docket No. 10-237, 
by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Federal Communications Commission's Web Site: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: [Optional: Include the E-mail address only if you 
plan to accept comments from the general public]. Include the docket 
number(s) in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: [Optional: Include the mailing address for paper, 
disk or CD-ROM submissions needed/requested by your Bureau or Office. 
Do not include the Office of the Secretary's mailing address here.]
     People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request 
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language 
interpreters, CART, etc.) by e-mail: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-
0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.
    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional 
information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION of this document.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Notice 
of Inquiry, ET Docket No. 10-237, FCC 10-198, adopted and released on 
November 30, 2010. The full text of this document is available for 
inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC 
Reference Center (Room CY-A257), 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 
20554. The complete text of this document also may be purchased from 
the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 
12th Street, SW., Room, CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. The full text 
may also be downloaded at: http://www.fcc.gov.
    Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  1.415, 1.419, and 1.430 of the Commission's 
rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, and 1.430, interested parties may file 
comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the 
first page of this document. Comments may be filed using: (1) The 
Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal 
Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies. See 
Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 
     Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must 
file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one 
docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, 
filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or 
rulemaking number.
    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial 
overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service 
mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, 
Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
     All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings 
for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 
445 12th St., SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours 
are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All hand deliveries

[[Page 81559]]

must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes 
must be disposed of before entering the building.
     Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton 
Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
     U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority 
mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington DC 20554.
    People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible 
formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic 
files, audio format), send an e-mail to [email protected] or call the 
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-
418-0432 (tty).

Summary of Notice of Inquiry

    1. In the Notice of Inquiry (NOI), the Commission explores the 
current state of development of dynamic spectrum access technologies, 
including the technical developments that affect the design and 
operation of dynamic radios. In particular, it examines the development 
of spectrum sensing and other dynamic spectrum sharing capabilities and 
techniques. Next it explores ways in which it can help promote the 
development of these technologies for use on both a licensed and an 
unlicensed basis. The Commission inquires whether there are additional 
steps it should take to improve its ``Spectrum Dashboard,'' a Web-based 
access tool that enables users to determine how spectrum is being used, 
who holds spectrum licenses around the country, and what spectrum is 
available in a particular geographic area. In addition, the Commission 
seeks comment on how spectrum used through secondary market 
arrangements could employ dynamic spectrum access radios and 
techniques. It also seeks comment on establishment of dynamic access 
radio test beds and on spectrum bands that might be suitable for 
dynamic spectrum access. Finally, the Commission examines whether the 
database access model applicable to unlicensed Television Band Devices 
might be deployed in other spectrum bands.
    2. As a general matter, dynamic spectrum access radios, as well as 
the new spectrum management techniques that they can enable, hold great 
promise to increase productive use of spectrum as the Commission seeks 
to use the nation's available spectrum resources more intensively and 
efficiently. With data traffic on mobile wireless networks estimated to 
grow by a factor of thirty-five between 2009 and 2014, there is a 
critical need for increased efficiency in use of spectrum, as well as 
the need for additional spectrum, not only for mobile wireless 
networks, but also for a wide variety of RF-based applications and 
services. Ensuring that the Commission can take advantage of these 
improved efficiencies will be critical as it addresses this spectrum 
challenge, and can lead to increased spectrum value that spurs 
additional investment and innovation that can benefit American 
consumers. The Commission seeks to expand the environment in which 
these advanced technologies and techniques can be developed and 
improved, and then can be applied across more radio spectrum. Thus, it 
seeks information on these dynamic technologies and on what additional 
steps the Commission can and should take to encourage, promote, and 
incentivize their development and use in both unlicensed and licensed 
    3. The Commission believes that there are opportunities for use of 
dynamic spectrum access techniques under both licensed and unlicensed 
regulatory approaches. Each approach has its benefits and limitations 
in the context of dynamic spectrum access techniques. It also observes 
that, as spectrum users seek to make the best and most efficient use of 
the available spectrum resource, they are increasingly using a 
combination of unlicensed networks and dedicated licensed networks 
employing advanced radio devices to meet their spectrum needs. The 
Commission's objective is to identify how to make the most efficient 
use of spectrum to help meet the demand for wireless broadband 
services, as well as many other applications, under both licensed and 
unlicensed regulatory approaches.
    4. Much work is being done to advance dynamic radio technologies, 
and the Commission believes that this work has already enabled more 
efficient use of the spectrum resource. However, this work is still in 
its early stages, and far more efficient spectrum use may be possible 
in the future. For this to happen, not only must advances continue to 
be made in the areas of sensing technology, usage algorithms, and 
cognitive abilities, but regulatory models may need to change. The 
Commission therefore inquires as to what it can do to best facilitate 
the use of dynamic radio technology, both from a technical and non-
technical perspective.
    5. Pursuant to sections 4(i), 301, and 303 of the Communications 
Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 301, and 303, this Notice of 
Inquiry is adopted.

Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
[FR Doc. 2010-32491 Filed 12-27-10; 8:45 am]