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FCC and NTIA Model City Advanced Sharing Technologies

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Released: July 11, 2014


Federal Communications Commission

United States Department of Commerce

445 12th St., S.W.

National Telecommunications and

Washington, D.C. 20554

Information Administration

1401 Constitution Ave., N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20230

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500


TTY: 1-888-835-5322

News Media Information 202/ 482-7002


DA 14-981

July 11, 2014





ET Docket No. 14-99

Comments Date: [45 days after date of Federal Register publication]

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Federal

Communications Commission’s (FCC) Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) issue this Joint

Public Notice to seek public comment on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

(PCAST) recommendation that the Secretary of Commerce establish a public-private partnership to

facilitate the creation of an urban test city, that would support rapid experimentation and development of

policies, underlying technologies, and system capabilities for advanced, dynamic spectrum sharing. The

test services (referenced herein as a “Model City”) for demonstrating and evaluating advanced spectrum

sharing technologies could include large-scale sustainable facilities for systems-level testing in real-world

environments across multiple frequency bands, including public safety and selected federal bands.

Through this Joint Public Notice, NTIA and OET seek to promote the Model City concept in conjunction

with: (1) the new Center for Advanced Communications established by NTIA and the National Institute

of Standards and Technology (NIST) and (2) the FCC’s existing experimental licensing program.


In July 2012, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released

a set of recommendations to the President on how to realize the full potential of government-held

spectrum to spur economic growth by facilitating spectrum sharing as a mainline approach to spectrum

management.1 This report (herein PCAST Report) concluded that clearing and reallocation of federal

spectrum is no longer a sustainable basis for spectrum policy due to the high cost, lengthy time to

1 See Report to the President: Realizing the Full Potential of Government-Held Spectrum to Spur Economic Growth,

at 49-50 (July 2012), available at (PCAST Report).


implement, and disruption to the federal mission.2 Based on this finding, the PCAST called for a new

spectrum architecture premised on spectrum sharing rather than exclusive use. To bridge the gap from

today’s spectrum use model to such a new regime, one of the PCAST’s recommendations was to create an

urban test city in a major U.S city to support realistic, rapid experimentation in spectrum management

technology and practice.

Before and after the release of the PCAST Report, the Administration, NTIA and the FCC

launched several initiatives to facilitate research, development, testing, and evaluation of spectrum-

sharing technologies. The 2010 Presidential Memorandum on “Unleashing the Wireless Broadband

Revolution” directed the Secretary of Commerce, working through NTIA in consultation with NIST, the

National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the National

Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other agencies as appropriate, to create and implement a plan

to facilitate research, development, experimentation, and testing by researchers to explore innovative

spectrum-sharing technologies.3 NTIA, NIST, and NSF, with support from the National Information

Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program, formed the Wireless Spectrum R&D (WSRD)

Senior Steering Group (SSG) to coordinate spectrum-related research and development activities across

the federal government, private sector, and academia.

The 2013 Presidential Memorandum on “Expanding America’s Leadership in Wireless

Innovation” directed the Secretary of Commerce, working through NTIA, to continue to facilitate greater

discussions between government and commercial stakeholders on spectrum sharing.4 Pursuant to this

memorandum, the NITRD WSRD SSG, on behalf of NTIA and NIST, published a comprehensive

inventory of federal and non-federal test facilities.5 NTIA and NIST also created a new Center for

Advanced Communications (CAC) to promote interdisciplinary research, development, and testing in

several areas including spectrum sharing and advanced technologies for broadband and public safety.6

The CAC will develop multiuser testbeds that allow government and industry researchers to measure and

evaluate the performance of new advanced spectrum-sharing technologies.

The 2013 Presidential Memorandum also directed NTIA to design and conduct a pilot program to

monitor spectrum usage in real time in selected communities throughout the country to determine whether

a comprehensive monitoring program in major metropolitan areas could disclose opportunities for more

efficient spectrum access, including via sharing.7 In August 2013, NTIA published a Notice of Inquiry on

2 See id. at vi.

3 See Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, Unleashing the Wireless Broadband

Revolution (rel. June 28, 2010), published at 75 Fed. Reg. 38387 (July 1, 2010), available at

4 See Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, Expanding America’s Leadership in

Wireless Innovation (rel. June 14, 2013), published at 78 Fed. Reg. 37431 (June 20, 2013), available at (2013 Presidential Memorandum).

5 See WSRD SSG National Wireless Testbed Information Portal, available at

6 See NIST and NTIA Announce Plans to Establish New Center for Advanced Communications, Press Release

(June 14, 2013), available at

7 See 2013 Presidential Memorandum.



the spectrum monitoring pilot program to solicit input from stakeholders, and has used some of the

information collected from that inquiry to begin implementation of the pilot.8

The FCC recently modified its experimental licensing rules to provide a more flexible framework

to keep pace with the speed of modern technological change, including advanced spectrum sharing

concepts.9 The revised rules permit institutions to move from concept to experimentation to finished

product as rapidly as possible using a new program experimental license that gives licensees more

flexibility to conduct multiple experiments in certain locations without filing separate applications.

Program licensees can also conduct specific types of experiments without individual authorizations in

designated “innovation zones.” In March 2014, the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council (TAC)

created a working group to study advanced sharing of federal and non-federal spectrum bands and

enabling wireless technologies.10 This working group is developing key recommendations to support the

creation of a Model City including scope, logistics, locations, frequency bands, and other operational

issues and objectives.


The purpose of this Joint Public Notice is to build upon the PCAST recommendations on test

services necessary to demonstrate and evaluate advanced spectrum sharing technologies through the

potential establishment of a Model City program. This program, if established, could facilitate large-scale

sustainable facilities for systems level testing in real-world environments across multiple frequency

bands, potentially including selected federal and non-federal frequency bands. NTIA and the FCC would

work together in accordance with their respective areas of authority. The responses to this Joint Public

Notice will help determine whether NTIA and/or the FCC may need to undertake additional actions or

initiate formal proceedings.

Through this Joint Public Notice, NTIA and OET seek comment on the PCAST recommendation

and on ways to establish, fund, and conduct the Model City program. We also welcome stakeholder input

on other measures that NTIA and the FCC could employ to promote the program, for example, through

independent public-private partnerships among federal and local government stakeholders and

commercial interests. We are soliciting ideas on how to move the PCAST recommendation forward and

therefore seek comment on the next steps that NTIA and the FCC could take to develop specific

approaches for effectively demonstrating and evaluating sharing technologies in real-world environments.

NTIA and OET also seek comment on the types of spectrum sharing innovations and supported

applications that would be good initial candidates for such evaluations, including their potential benefits,

recommended spectrum bands for sharing, and appropriate operational requirements.

NTIA and OET seek comment on the extent to which the Model City can and should be a largely

self-organizing effort

to establish independent public-private partnerships by industry, municipalities (or

8 See NTIA, Spectrum Monitoring Pilot Program, Notice of Inquiry, 78 Fed. Reg. 50399 (Aug. 19, 2013), available


9 See FCC, Promoting Expanded Opportunities for Radio Experimentation and Market Trials under Part 5 of the

Commission’s Rules and Streamlining Other Related Rules, ET Docket No. 10-236, Report and Order, 28 FCC Rcd.

758 (Feb. 2013), available at

10 See TAC, Summary of Meeting at 36 (Mar. 10, 2014), available




other political subdivisions), and other non-federal stakeholders. Particularly in light of the recent

modifications to the FCC’s experimental licensing rules, how could the Model City take advantage of

these rule changes without having to establish or fund a new federal program? What type of formal or

informal agreements or arrangements among the non-federal parties would be necessary to effectuate the

Model City relationships and understandings between, for example, an industry consortium and the

participating city? Beyond the FCC’s formal role in administering the experimental licensing process,

NTIA and OET seek comment on how it could further expedite or streamline the process for Model City

participants and more effectively ensure compliance with the rules and any license conditions.

In addition to coordinating experimental license applications to use bands implicating federal

spectrum assignments, to what extent should NTIA be involved in particular initiatives to facilitate

federal agency participation in a Model City program? NTIA and OET seek input from commenting

parties on whether the Model City program should be managed by the federal government or whether the

FCC and NTIA could, on top of their existing licensing and coordination roles, help initiate and facilitate

a dialogue between the key stakeholders who will directly develop, participate in, and benefit from a

successful Model City program within the scope of existing rules or other requirements.

The new CAC established by NTIA and NIST could be a potential vehicle to advance the Model

City concept. As noted above, a core function of the CAC is to promote interdisciplinary research,

development, and testing in radio frequency technology and spectrum sharing. NTIA and OET seek

comment on the potential role of the CAC in managing the activities within one or more Model Cities,

such as working directly with NTIA and the FCC to coordinate the interests of incumbent spectrum users

to avoid harmful interference, while ensuring that innovators have access to adequate spectrum resources

and other facilities in cooperation with city officials. While we would expect private sector stakeholders

to drive the design and development of innovative wireless technologies and business models that could

be tested in a Model City, NTIA and OET seek comment on how the CAC could work as an impartial

facilitator with the federal and non-federal stakeholders and local governments to develop feasible test

plans, minimize regulatory issues and constraints, monitor experimental deployments, and evaluate and

report the test results.

The FCC’s experimental licensing program makes spectrum available to any non-federal party

interested in experimenting with new radio technologies, equipment designs, radio wave propagation

characteristics, and innovative service concepts (including market trials), especially in new innovation

zones. NTIA and OET seek comment on how this program can be effectively used as a platform for the

establishment of the Model City. For example, how can the FCC and NTIA facilitate stakeholder

deployment of innovation zones in one or more Model Cities?

NTIA and OET invite commenters to suggest opportunities for collaboration among wireless

service providers, hardware vendors, academia, federal agencies, and other researchers and developers.

How would such collaboration in a Model City better facilitate more rapid experimentation of advanced

spectrum sharing techniques between new commercial systems and incumbent or new federal systems?

How would such collaborative use within Model City innovation zones enhance stakeholders’ ability to

try various sharing concepts? For example, what kind of flexibility would stakeholders need to make

adjustments as needed when developing sharing protocols under real-world scenarios while ensuring

protection of other services and operations?

The host community for a Model City could play a crucial and collaborative role by expediting

access to rights-of-way and other facilities (e.g., fiber, conduits, poles, towers, buildings, rooftops, park



spaces, tunnels, etc.) for short- and long-term wireless infrastructure and monitoring deployments. The

PCAST Report suggests that regional clusters of local industry associations, government, and academia

could develop proposals to host the Model City in their particular regions to leverage their own

innovation investments, local suppliers, terrain characteristics, nearby federal installations, and other

unique features and benefits. 11 NTIA and OET seek comment on the most appropriate approach for

soliciting or identifying eligible cities interested in hosting Model City deployments. What particular

factors, accommodations, commitments, or benefits would be important? For example, how should local

permitting processes, accessibility to city lands and facilities, or incentives be considered? What features

of a Model City would be most attractive for candidate cities to participate in the program?

Finally, NTIA and OET seek input on the potential funding mechanisms and other processes for

establishing and maintaining one or more Model City deployments in a manner that facilitates potentially

resource-intensive collaborative efforts among a wide range of stakeholders while minimizing

expenditure of taxpayer (both federal and local) dollars. How should funding be addressed in Model City

proposals and what minimal commitments should be required for such proposals to go forward? How

would existing mechanisms, such as federal Cooperative Research and Development Agreements, be used

to expand opportunities for private stakeholder funding, collaboration, and information protection and

what other alternative methods could be used to formalize the parties’ roles and responsibilities, including

funding? What incentives might be provided, and by whom, to increase participation in a Model City

program? What other factors should be considered in a process to solicit interest in and successfully

initiate Model City proposals?

Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules, 47 CFR §§ 1.415, 1.419, interested

parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this

document. Comments may be filed using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).

See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).

Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the


Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each

filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding,

filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-

class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission’s

Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary

must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,

Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries

must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be

disposed of before entering the building.

11 See PCAST Report at 71.



In addition, written comments may be submitted to NTIA electronically in standard Word

or Adobe PDF format by email to or by mail to: National

Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce,

1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 4096, Washington, DC 20230, Attn: Rangam

Subramanian, Office of Spectrum Management, Docket Number 140708559-4559-01;

and to Matthew Hussey, Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal

Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Room 6-A324.

Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority

Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.

U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th

Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.

People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille,

large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the Consumer &

Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

Documents in ET Docket No. 14-99 are available for public inspection and copying during

business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW, Room

CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. The documents may also be purchased from BCPI, telephone (202)

488-5300, facsimile (202) 488-5563, TTY (202) 488-5562, e-mail

Questions regarding this Public Notice may be directed Rangam Subramanian at (202) 482-4399 or and Matthew Hussey at (202) 418-3619 or

By the Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology and Deputy Chief, Counsel, National

Telecommunications and Information Administration.



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