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Spectrum sharing occurs whenever multiple wireless systems operate in the same frequency band.


The NTIA has recommended policies that would encourage sharing of radio frequency spectrum among federal agencies, between federal agencies and private users, and among private users.

The National Broadband Plan recommends that the FCC identify and free up a "new, contiguous nationwide band for unlicensed use" by 2020[1]; and provide spectrum and take other steps to "further development and deployment" of new technologies that facilitate sharing.[2]

From a policy perspective, actions to speed the arrival of new, spectrally efficient technologies might have significant impact on achieving broadband policy goals over the long term. In particular, support for technologies that enable sharing could pave the way for dramatically different ways of managing the nation's spectrum resources. Among the technologies that facilitate spectrum sharing are cognitive radio and Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA).[3] Enabling technologies such as these allow communications to switch instantly among network frequencies that are not in use and therefore available to any radio device equipped with cognitive technology.


  1. Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan, Recommendation 5.11.
  2. Id., Recommendation 5.13.
  3. Dynamic Spectrum Access, Content-Based Networking, and Delay and Disruption Technology Networking, along with cognitive radio, and decision-making software, are examples of technologies that can enable Internet-like management of spectrum resources. DSA is part of the neXt Generation program, or XG, a technology development project sponsored by the Strategic Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The main goals of the program include developing both the enabling technologies and system concepts that dynamically redistribute allocated spectrum.