Spectrum Management for the 21st Century

A Report of the CSIS Commission on Spectrum Management

New technologies and services have created explosive demand for radio spectrum. But spectrum is a finite natural resource--we cannot make more--and under our current rules, demand is outstripping supply. Fortunately, the same technologies that create exploding demand can provide the solution to this problem, by letting more devices use spectrum than is now possible. More intensive use of spectrum would meet existing and potential demand and could be the basis for unprecedented economic growth. We have no choice as a nation but to exploit this technological opportunity, but in order to do so, our spectrum management system must change. The existing organization and legal structure, which we have inherited from an earlier technological era, blocks the development and adoption of the new spectrum technologies we need to move ahead. This report provides an overview of the issue and recommendations on key problems in U.S. spectrum management.

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James Andrew Lewis
Senior Vice President; Pritzker Chair; and Director, Strategic Technologies Program

Robert Galvin and James Schlesinger