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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler outlined his vision for how the commission will make the 3.5 GHz band open for wireless broadband use, speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Wheeler’s roadmap for moving forward is the 2012 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report (PCAST).

The FCC chairman announced Monday that is he pushing forward an idea to open up Defense Department spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band — calling it an “innovation band.” He said this frequency-sharing plan could be a reality within the next 18 months.

According to the NTIA, the 3.5 GHz band that is used by the military is primarily for Navy shipboard radar use. Radar systems could share the spectrum with other wireless services using small cells, the report said.

The FCC released a notice of proposed rulemaking on spectrum sharing in December 2012.

According to the report, some 1000 MHz of federal spectrum, especially in bands above 2.7 GHz, may be shared using the same White Space interrogation technology.

Some Republican lawmakers question the “sharing” plan. They say the agency should instead sell the spectrum to the highest bidder.

Wheeler said he will soon circulate a proposal to other FCC commissioners that will include three tiers of prioritization: federal and non-federal incumbent users, priority access licensees (hospitals, utilities and public-safety entities), and general authorized access users (the general public), reports Fierce Wireless.

Wheeler also said the proposal will anticipate a wide range of flexible uses and that while small cells will undoubtedly be a core use case, the FCC will not limit the band to such use.

Wheeler used this anecode at Brookings:

“Think about the iPhone and Android phones, which have given more than 60% of Americans more computing power in their pocket than the module that put a man on the moon. They didn’t even exist when Barack Obama began running for President.”

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) warned the FCC against limiting the participation of AT&T and Verizon in next year’s 600 MHz auction through the use of spectrum caps.

Related Dailywireless articles include; FCC Paves Way for 3.5GHz Band Nationwide, FCC Dishes Dirt, Talks Up 3.5 GHz, FCC Limits Dish on LTE Terrestrial Spectrum, Dish: On the Move, Dish and Sprint Battle over PCS band Extension, FCC Approves 2.3 GHz for AT&T, AT&T Likely to Get 2.3 GHz, Sprint’s Dish Compromise, MetroPCS Merges with T-Mobile USA, T-Mobile Gets AWS Spectrum from Breakup, FirstNet: The Asymetrical Threat

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