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FCC Forms Spectrum Policy Task Force

One day after a Congressional subcommittee criticized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and several other federal agencies for their ultra wideband (UWB) technology policies, the FCC is forming a task force to identify and evaluate changes in spectrum policy that may benefit the public.

According to FCC Chairman Michael Powell, the new Spectrum Policy Task Force will be charged with providing specific recommendations to the FCC for ways in which evaluate the current "command and control" approach to spectrum policy into a more integrated, market-oriented approach that provides "greater regulatory certainty, while minimizing regulatory intervention."

In addition, the task force will address spectrum issues including interference protection, spectral efficiency, effective public communications and implications of international spectrum policies.

"The government has an almost impossible task trying to keep pace with the ever increasing demand for spectrum and continuing advances in wireless technology and applications. In this fast-moving world, the Commission cannot rely on outmoded procedures and policies," said Powell. "We must establish new ways to support innovation and the efficient, flexible use of spectrum. While the Spectrum Policy Task Force has a difficult task ahead of it, I am pleased that it is making significant progress and that it is moving forward with a work plan."

Dr. Paul Kolodzy, senior spectrum policy advisor, Office of Engineering and Technology, will head the cross-bureau and multi-disciplinary task force. Other members will be comprised of senior staff from several FCC bureaus and offices, including attorneys, engineers and economists.

The deputy director of the task force is Lauren M. Van Wazer, special counsel to the chief, Office of Engineering and Technology. Dr. Michael Marcus, associate chief for technology, Office of Engineering and Technology, will serve as senior technical advisor and Maureen C. McLaughlin, senior counsel, Office of General Counsel, will serve as special counsel.

The task force will receive its guidance from a steering committee composed of the bureau/office chiefs to whom its members report and chaired by Kolodzy.