Feeds

FCC ferrets around for spare spectrum

Got any ideas?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The FCC is asking for suggestions in the hunt for more radio spectrum, having established that there's not going to be enough to support the next generation of broadband requirements.

The US regulator wants ideas for making better use of all the spectrum below 3.7GHz, and it wants them by 13 November 13. It's asking (pdf) for suggestions on what spectrum should be used for what and how to get hold of it.

The consultation is part of the National Broadband Plan, which has been inviting the industry to say how much radio spectrum it needs. Surprising as it may seem, the industry thinks it needs lots and lots more radio spectrum if it's going to serve customers with the sort of quantities of data it thinks they would like, as the FCC explains:

"According to Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI), a traditional handheld device, with average customer usage patterns, will consume about 30 megabytes of data in a month, a single smart phone consumes 30 times that amount, and a single connected notebook or laptop computer is consuming 450 times that amount."

So you smartphone users out there are already burning through 900MB of data a month, while laptop users are consuming more than 13GB every 30 days or so. That seems like an awful lot to use, though that includes voice traffic.

Still, the FCC is taking those numbers seriously, and it wants to know how much bandwidth you think the wireless industry is going to need. It also wants to know where that spectrum should sit, both for fixed and mobile wireless services, and suggestions to encourage existing users to hand it over for reallocation to wireless broadband.

The FCC has the same problems as the rest of the western world: Huge swathes of the radio spectrum were allocated to governmental and military operations that have no incentive to make use of it or even to keep track of which bits they are actually using.

UK regulator Ofcom's solution is to charge everyone for spectrum usage. Though calculated rates if it can't get the spectrum onto the auction block. But that's not always a good idea (billing lifeboats for radio frequencies is not good PR), so the FCC is hoping the general public can come up with something better.

The regulator is open to suggestions from 23 October until 13 November, and we look forward to hearing what the American on the street has to say on the matter. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.