To mark the launch of the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance’s (DSA’s) new policy research report, Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC): An Established Tool for Modern Spectrum Management, we held a workshop on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C to launch the report and to discuss its key findings.

Co-sponsored by the Congressional Spectrum Caucus, the event brought together United States Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioners Michael O’Rielly and Jessica Rosenworcel and industry leaders from around the world.

The launch of the report marks an important step forward, not only for the DSA but for everyone with a vested interest in maximising the potential of spectrum. The report found that AFC systems are the key to unlocking unused spectrum capacity by automatically searching databases for which radio frequencies are available for wireless devices to use at a given location and time.

With regulators under increasing pressure to adapt spectrum policy meet wireless connectivity demands, the use of AFC has never been more important. There has never been a better time for regulators to leverage AFC as a tool for fuelling gigabit-fast broadband networks and closing the digital divide that exists in far too many communities around the world.

The event was opened by Representative Doris Matsui, a founding member of the Congressional Spectrum Caucus. Bringing experience and insight, Representative Matsui emphasized the need for automated frequency modulation and efficient uses of the spectrum as well as touching on the challenges of deploying networks.

Other presentations included a ‘Fireside Chat’ with FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mike O’Rielly, moderated by Kalpak Gude. The Commissioners discussed how dynamic spectrum access technologies and policies help regulators achieve key policy challenges.

We were thrilled to have Michael Calabrese, Director of the Wireless Future Project at New America Foundation, present the findings of recent DSA research. Mr Calabrese presented the findings on shared spectrum as well as giving a demonstration on how Automated Spectrum Access, a hot topic at the workshop, is already in use within the CBRS band (3.5 GHz).

The workshop was an overwhelming success and it was great to welcome so many key industry bodies and leaders to Capitol Hill to discuss spectrum sharing and the use of databases to coordinate spectrum.

The AFC report reviews a number of emerging technological advances that can further improve the benefits provided by AFC, including the addition of more detailed GIS data and use of real-time spectrum sensing data. The DSA members are looking forward to doing our part in facilitating the global integration of AFC to maximise spectrum management for the digital era.