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Best Practices for National Spectrum Management

Introduction: With due regard to the ITU Constitution and Convention, this Annex addresses Best Practices for national spectrum management activities. International practices are not included. However, some of the Best Practices contained below are intended to interface with, or transition to international practices, e.g., those relating either to collaboration with colleagues in other countries, or to coordination, such as that which would occur at a bilateral or multilateral consultation preceding a World Radiocommunication Conference, or at an international satellite coordination meeting. These practices are further intended to harmonize global spectrum management policies, to the extent practicable, by harmonizing practices among national administrations.

Practices:

  1. Establishing and maintaining a national spectrum management organization, either independent or part of the telecommunication regulatory authority responsible for managing the radio spectrum in the public interest
  2. Promoting transparent, fair, economically efficient, and effective spectrum management policies, i.e., regulating the efficient and adequate use of the spectrum, taking into due account the need to avoid harmful interference and the possibility of imposing technical restrictions in order to safeguard the public interest
  3. Making public, wherever practicable, national frequency allocation plans and frequency assignment data to encourage openness, and to facilitate development of new radio systems, i.e., carrying out public consultations on proposed changes to national frequency allocation plans and on spectrum management decisions likely to affect service providers, to allow interested parties to participate in the decision-making process
  4. Maintaining a stable decision-making process that permits consideration of the public interest in managing the radio frequency spectrum, i.e., providing legal certainty by having fair and transparent processes for granting licenses for the use of spectrum, using competitive mechanisms, when necessary
  5. Providing in the national process, in special cases where adequately justified, for exceptions or waivers to spectrum management decisions
  6. Having a process for reconsideration of spectrum management decisions
  7. Minimizing unnecessary regulations
  8. Encouraging radiocommunication policies that lead to flexible spectrum use, to the extent practicable, so as to allow for the evolution of services1 and technologies using clearly-defined methods, i.e., (a) eliminating regulatory barriers and allocating frequencies in a manner to facilitate entry into the market of new competitors, (b) encouraging efficiency in the use of spectrum by reducing or removing unnecessary restrictions on spectrum use, thereby encouraging competition and bringing benefits to consumers, and (c) promoting innovation and the introduction of new radio applications and technologies
  9. Assuring open and fair competition in the marketplaces for equipment and services, and removing any barriers that arise to open and fair competition
  10. Harmonizing, as far as practicable, effective domestic and international spectrum policies, including of radio-frequency use and, for space services, for any associated orbital position in the geostationary-satellite orbit or of any associated characteristics of satellites in other orbits
  11. Working in collaboration with regional and other international colleagues to develop coordinated regulatory practices, i.e., working in collaboration with regulatory authorities of other regions and countries to avoid harmful interference
  12. Removing any regulatory barriers to free circulation and global roaming of mobile terminals and similar radiocommunication equipment
  13. Using internationally recommended data formats and data elements for exchange of data and coordination purposes, e.g., as in the Radio Regulations Appendix 4, and in the ITU Radiocommunication Data Dictionary (Recommendation ITU-R SM.1413)
  14. Using “milestone” management steps and phases to monitor and control lengthy radiocommunication system implementation
  15. Adopting decisions that are technologically neutral and which allow for evolution to new radio applications
  16. Facilitating timely introduction of appropriate new applications and technology while protecting existing services from harmful interference including, when appropriate, the provision of a mechanism to allow compensation for systems that must redeploy for new spectrum needs
  17. Considering effective policies to mitigate harm to users of existing services when reallocating spectrum
  18. Where spectrum is scarce, promoting spectrum sharing using available techniques (frequency, temporal, spatial, modulation coding, processing, etc.), including using interference mitigation techniques and economic incentives, to the extent practicable
  19. Using enforcement mechanisms, as appropriate, i.e., applying sanctions for non-compliance with obligations and for inefficient use of radio frequency spectrum under relevant appeal processes
  20. Utilizing regional and international standards whenever possible, and where appropriate, reflecting them in national standards
  21. Relying to the extent possible on industry standards including those that are included in ITU Recommendations of in lieu of national regulations
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