Electrical Engineering Meets Public Policy: Spectrum Policy Decisions at the FCC
Location:136 DeBartolo Hall
This talk will discuss the role of spectrum policy deliberations in facilitating the introduction of new wireless technology and services. For better or for worse, spectrum policy deliberations have just as much impact on wireless systems as Maxwell's Equations. A key difference is that spectrum policy evolves, although with a multiyear time constant. The talk will review basics of spectrum policy deliberations in the US, how the FCC laid the foundations for Wi-Fi and other modern unlicensed systems in the early 1980s (in which the speaker played a key role), and more recent controversies such as the ongoing struggle between GPS interests and the proposed LightSquared cellular system in the adjacent band. The focus will be on how engineers can contribute to these deliberations and help in the search for win-win solutions to spectrum conflicts so spectrum use is maximized with the resulting contribution to economic growth and society.
Michael Marcus PhD
Marcus Spectrum Solutions LLC
Michael Marcus is a native of Boston and received SB and ScD degrees in electrical engineering from MIT. Prior to joining the FCC in 1979, he worked at Bell Labs on the theory of telephone switching, served in the Air Force where he was involved in underground nuclear test detection research and analyzed electronic warfare issues at the Institute for Defense Analyses. At the FCC his work focused on proposing and developing policies for cutting-edge radio technologies such as spread spectrum/CDMA and millimeterwaves. Wi-Fi is just one outcome of his early leadership. He also participated in complex spectrum sharing policy formulation involving rulemakings such as ultrawideband and MVDDS. Awarded a Mike Mansfield Fellowship in 1997, he studied the Japanese language and spent at year at the FCC’s Japanese counterpart. He retired from the FCC in March 2004 after serving as senior technical advisor to the Spectrum Policy Task Force and codirecting the preparation of the FCC’s cognitive radio rulemaking. Immediately after retirement he lived in Paris France for 3 years, consulting for US and European clients. In 2006 he was appointed Special Advisor to Mrs. Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society & Media. He is now Director of Marcus Spectrum Solutions LLC, an independent consulting firm based in the Washington DC area focusing on wireless technology and policy. He is also Adjunct Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. Recognized as a Fellow of the IEEE “for leadership in the development of spectrum management policies” and he also received IEEE-USA’s first Electrotechnology Transfer Award in 1994.