Ligado Exemplifies Broken US Spectrum Management: Industry Experts

By THERESA HITCHENS on September 11, 2020 

WASHINGTON: The FCC’s controversial decision to let Ligado proceed with its 5G wireless network over fierce DoD objections is just one more example of the broken state of the US regime for managing spectrum, industry experts say.

“There’s a lot of inefficiencies in the process. But it’s basically a fight, with each community pressing its case to its own regulatory body,” Jennifer Warren, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for technology, policy and regulation, told the Secure World Foundation (SWF) Summit for Space Sustainability this morning.

This has led a little-known but highly influential government advisory panel to recommend a series of options for overhauling the US regulatory system — including the creation of a new agency — to empower a single entity to decide how to balance skyrocketing demands for bandwidth as availability dwindles.

“The United States’ current approach for managing the use of spectrum is no longer effectively serving the needs of the entire stakeholder community and would benefit from reform,” the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC) says in a recent report. “Moreover, with the increased use of spectrum by all stakeholders, we agree that issues around allocations, spectrum-sharing and band adjacencies will need to be handled with both speed and skill to ensure that the US is making the most of its critical national resources.”

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