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Spectrum Dashboard Q&A

by: James Brown, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

March 24, 2010 - 01:31 PM

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:120:height=100,width=70]]Last week, the FCC released the Spectrum Dashboard in beta.  The Spectrum Dashboard is truly an exciting new tool that allows the public to search, map, and download licensing data with just a few clicks of a mouse.

Currently, the search, map, and download features are available for licenses within 225 MHz – 3700 MHz in the following services:

  • 700 MHz
  • 800 MHz Cellular
  • Advanced Wireless Service (AWS)
  • Broadband Personal Communications Service (PCS)
  • Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and Educational Broadband Service (EBS)
  • 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS)
  • Full Power TV Broadcast
  • Mobile Satellite Services (MSS)

 Over the years, we have received similar questions from lots of different groups about who holds licenses for certain types of spectrum and where the licenses are held.  The reasons for these questions ranged from an individual trying to locate a mobile phone provider in a specific area, to a company trying to acquire spectrum, to a firm trying to analyze parts of the telecommunications industry.

In the past, we were not able to point anyone to a single place at the FCC where this information could easily be found or understood.  It’s wonderful to finally be able to point someone to the “Spectrum Dashboard.”  Below, I will show how five fairly common questions can be answered by using the Spectrum Dashboard.

Questions that can be answered by using the Spectrum Dashboard

1) Can I see a list of all the licenses held by a company even though the company holds licenses under 100 different legal names?

Yes.  The Spectrum Dashboard associates licenses held under various names to a single “Common Name.”  The Common Name is available for most licenses, including the largest spectrum holders.  The results will include a list of licenses associated with a Common Name as well as the actual licensee name for each license.  From the results page, you can filter results by Tags or Radio Service, view individual licenses, and create maps.

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2) Can I see a thematic (heat map) that shows how much spectrum a company holds throughout the country?

Yes.  The Spectrum Dashboard provides a county-by-county total of how much spectrum is held by a company based on the “Common Name.”  The results will include a list of licenses associated with a Common Name as well as the actual licensee name for each license.  From the results page, you can filter results by Tags or Radio Service, view individual licenses, and create maps.

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3) Can I see a thematic (heat map) that shows how much spectrum is licensed for a service throughout the country?

Yes.  The Spectrum Dashboard provides a county-by-county total of how much spectrum is licensed for a specific service (e.g., 700 MHz or Broadband PCS).  The results will include a list of licenses associated with a Common Name as well as the actual licensee name for each license.  From the results page, you can filter results by Common Name or Tags, view individual licenses, and create maps.

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4) Can I see a thematic (heat) map that shows how much spectrum is licensed in one or more counties within a state?

Yes.  The Spectrum Dashboard shows how much spectrum is licensed in one or more counties.  The results will include a list of licenses associated with a Common Name as well as the actual licensee name for each license.  From the results page, you can filter results by Common Name, Tags or Radio Service, view individual licenses, and create maps.

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5) Can I download the data used to answer questions 1 – 4?

Yes.  The Spectrum Dashboard includes a link to download data in a spreadsheet format that includes a list of spectrum held on a county-by-county basis per license.

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These are just five of the questions that the Spectrum Dashboard can answer.  As you explore the Spectrum Dashboard, we hope to hear from you.

After the Commission collects and analyzes user feedback and information on how the Spectrum Dashboard is being used, the staff will announce a workshop to inform the public about the feedback received to date, listen to public views on desired upgrades, and discuss ways to expand and improve the information and analyses contained in the Spectrum Dashboard.  For example, future enhancements to the software could potentially involve an increase in the types of data that can be searched, advanced mapping capabilities, advanced data export capabilities, integration with other Federal information sources, better analysis tools, and changes to the interface.

Updated: April 16, 2012 - 03:28 PM
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