WASHINGTON, DC – The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), the association of broadcast technology and multimedia professionals, announced Monday a joint memorandum of understanding with the Department of Defense to allow non-exclusive access to commercial spectrum at 2025-2110 MHz at 26 US military sites.
The bases were selected for their ability to provide streamlined access to spectrum used by broadcasters for electronic newsgathering and other purposes. DoD activities at these bases will include testing and training missions to ensure readiness and improve electromagnetic spectrum superiority.
After nearly seven years of technical studies and laboratory and field tests, an agreement has been reached that will ensure the coexistence of news gathering operations and other emissions with critical military training missions. .
Spectrum was identified for potential sharing ahead of a spectrum auction the FCC conducted in 2014 that raised more than $44 billion by converting federal spectrum into flexible commercial use. A member of House Energy and Commerce and Vice Chair of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, Representative Doris Matsui led the effort that identified this spectrum.
The joint agreement demonstrates the broadcasters’ and DoD’s commitment to advancing both the nation’s economic prosperity and national security interests, while maintaining public access to critical news and information provided by broadcasters. Robert Weller, Vice President of Spectrum Policy at NAB, commented, “This innovative agreement between the DoD and broadcasters will allow important military communications and information gathering operations to co-exist by balancing the ever-increasing demand access to spectrum. America’s broadcasters and broadcasters are committed to using spectrum collaboratively in the best interests of our country and the millions of listeners and viewers who depend on us every day. We thank the DoD and SBE for working with us to reach an amicable settlement that ensures a sustainable spectrum allocation model.
At a number of locations, broadcasters have been able to identify “home channels” – the spectrum where the DoD will have presumed access, while some locations will require active coordination as is done during major media events such as the Super Bowl. The SBE has set up a National Frequency Management Office headed by R.J. Russell, National Frequency Co-ordinator, at the Society of Broadcast Engineers to handle co-ordination requests. This office will ensure consistent analysis and response time. Previously, coordination was carried out at the local level.