Washington, DC – Needing to find more wireless spectrum to keep pace with Americans’ increasing use of data-hungry smart phones, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said it believes 95 megahertz (MHz) of prime spectrum could be repurposed for wireless broadband use.

The spectrum is currently being used by more than 20 federal agencies to perform functions such as law enforcement surveillance, military tactical communications and air combat training. Under preliminary plans, some federal users would be relocated to different bands, while others would need to find new ways to share spectrum with commercial users.

“Spectrum is a finite resource in growing demand, and we need to focus on new ways to maximize its use,” said Lawrence Strickling, administrator of the NTIA. “By working with the FCC, other federal agencies, and the industry, we can make more spectrum available.”

President Obama has said he’d like to see the amount of commercial spectrum nearly double before the end of the decade.

This article was also published in New England Tech Wire.

Related links:

NTIA – press release

NTIA – blog post

NTIA’s report, “An Assessment of the Viability of Accommodating Wireless Broadband in the 1755–1850 MHz Band,” is here [PDF]