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DoD, NAB Work on Deal to Share Spectrum for UAVs

As reported by Bloomberg BNA, the National Association of Broadcasters, a Washington-based advocacy organization that looks out for the interests of radio and television broadcasters, is working with the U.S. Department of Defense on an agreement to share RF spectrum that’s now extensively used by television stations. The spectrum ― 2,025 to 2,110 MHz and known as the Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) ― is used by broadcasters for remote news and programming feeds, the sort of thing a TV station does when a reporter has a live story from a burning building or city hall.

In the impending agreement between the DoD and the NAB, the Defense Department will be permitted to use the BAS spectrum for functions such as aircraft pilot training, UAV control, missile guidance and other applications, for which the DoD now uses the 1,755 to 1,780 MHz band. The current DoD-controlled spectrum from 1,755 to 1,780 MHz would then be available for auction to commercial telecommunications companies.

From 2005 to 2010, Sprint Nextel worked with broadcasters to free up a slice of the BAS spectrum for Sprint’s use, and other telecommunications companies have been floating proposals to acquire even more of this frequency band. By cooperating with the DoD in the BAS spectrum, broadcasters stand to gain a powerful federal partner that will make it much harder for telecom companies to chip away at more of the BAS band.

For more on this story, see this link on Bloomberg BNA: