June 17, 2013 Eric Wicklund

President Barack Obama has issued a Presidential Memorandum designed to “aggressively enhance” federal efforts to delegate additional spectrum for wireless broadband, a key component to the development of mHealth and telemedicine initiatives around the country.

The memorandum, released on June 14, establishes a set of measures designed to help federal agencies, the telecommunications industry and other stakeholders enable access to wireless broadband initiatives. It also encourages the Federal Communications Commission to promote “efficient, innovative and flexible use of spectrum” and take steps to encourage improvements in radio receiver technology.

It also establishes a White House-based Spectrum Policy Team to support the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and report back to the President on how this memorandum is being received and implemented. One of the team’s responsibilities will be to assess the role of unlicensed devices and related spectrum policies.

In a press release issued last week by Tom Power, U.S. deputy Chief Technology Officer for Telecommunications, and Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Administrator of the NTIA, it was pointed out that many of the measures outlines in the memorandum are common-sense approaches to improving spectrum efficiency. “Under the memorandum, an agency that requests a new spectrum assignment or that seeks to procure a spectrum-dependent system will have to document its consideration of alternative approaches and verify that it is pursuing the most spectrum-efficient method, in consideration of all relevant factors including cost and agency mission,” they wrote.

In addition, they pointed out that the NTIA has, since 2010, worked to identify 500 megahertz of spectrum for wireless broadband by convening agency-industry work groups for discussions aimed at increasing spectrum efficiency and improving access for consumer wireless broadband.

“Today’s memorandum directs NTIA to expand that collaborative process to encompass additional bands,” they wrote. “Towards this end, NTIA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will develop policies and best practices to promote and facilitate greater collaboration among agencies, the private sector and academia with respect to research, development, testing and evaluation of spectrum-sharing technologies.”

“Helping accelerate the pace of technological change, the White House announced $100 million in upcoming and proposed federal investments in public-private research and development of spectrum sharing and other advanced communications technologies.”

Click here to read the memorandum.

– See more at: http://www.mhimss.org/blog/obamas-memorandum-broadband-spectrum-should-help-mhealth#sthash.ibU1MHVA.dpuf


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