Wireless Research in the Context of Domestic Spectrum Initiatives
Location:258 Fitzpatrick Hall
For many years, regulators, politicians, and innovators have continuously hoped for dramatic improvements in spectrum access to allow a dramatic increase in spectrum availability for mobile broadband, public safety, and a myriad of other bandwidth-consuming devices. So far, no such dramatic transition has occurred, and most “new” spectrum is the mundane result of complicated and expensive reallocations, repurposing, and relocations. The most promising new spectrum access paradigm—dynamic spectrum access—has failed to materialize on a grand scale, mostly because of a general “not-in-my-backyard” fear among spectrum incumbents. Recently, several new developments have given renewed urgency to discovering better and more efficient ways to use the radio spectrum. These include the National Broadband Plan and the President’s Memorandum on Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution (released in 2010); the PCAST report (released this past summer); and the Middle Class Tax Relief and Jobs Creation Act of 2012, which, as its name implies, mostly deals with radio spectrum issues and is therefore commonly referred to as the Spectrum Act. While these initiatives generally focus on relatively near-term solutions, many of them call for increased investment in wireless research to help alleviate the growing demand for spectrum bandwidth. Partly in response to this call, National Science Foundation (NSF) established the Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS) program, whose single purpose is to fund research that can improve the efficiency with which radio spectrum is used and/or improve access to the radio spectrum by traditionally underserved populations, such as rural communities. NSF has invested considerable time and effort engaging the academic, industrial, public safety, and military/government/regulatory sectors to identify the most promising avenues of research that can help transition us towards considerably more efficient use of the radio spectrum. One of the recurring themes that have been identified is that improving spectrum access is not just a technical issue. In fact, many of the biggest hurdles have more to do with economics and public policy than they do with building better widgets. The purpose of this presentation is to examine some of the most recent initiatives and how they are shaping (but not constraining!) promising research avenues in the wireless domain. It will also summarize what we are learning about wireless research and its intersection with current economics and public policy issues. On a related and more practical note, opportunities for funding under the EARS program will also be discussed.
National Science Foundation
Andrew Clegg is the program director for the Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum (EARS) program at the National Science Foundation (NSF). He received the a bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy with highest distinction from the University of Virginia in 1985, and a master’s and doctorate in radio Astronomy (major) and electrical engineering (minor) from Cornell University in 1989 and 1991, respectively. From 1991–1995, he was with the Remote Sensing Division at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. From 1995–1997, he was a senior engineer with Comsearch in Reston, Va., and from 1997–2003 he was a senior engineer, senior manager, and lead member of technical staff with BellSouth/Cingular Wireless in Atlanta. He joined the NSF in 2003, where he had previously served as program manager for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and for the Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation program. Clegg is a member of URSI and a senior member of IEEE, where he is active in several IEEE societies. He has served two terms as president of the National Spectrum Managers Association, and is presently vice chair of the U.S. Working Party 7D of the International Telecommunication Union. He represents the National Science Foundation at the IRAC and several of its subcommittees and was appointed a U.S. delegate to the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. He has authored or co-authored 11 peer-reviewed technical papers and numerous ITU input documents, reports, and recommendations, and is the co-inventor on four patents in the field of wireless telecommunications.