The United States Air Force has enlisted the support of engineering, technology and operational solutions company Alion Science and Technology in managing its wireless spectrum.
According to a Wednesday press release, Alion will assist the Air Force Spectrum Management Office (AFSMO) in strategic planning and policy recommendations, satellite coordination and spectrum reallocation.
Under the 5-year, $15 million contract, Alion will also conduct research and technical analyses to determine the feasibility of sharing spectrum with commercial wireless providers, identify new spectrum for relocation and implement transition plans for affected spectrum-dependent systems and support the AFSMO in participating in domestic and international regulatory forums.
“Access to wireless frequencies is essential for national security as well as for commercial uses,” said Chris Amos, Alion’s Senior Vice President and Manager of the Technology Solutions Group. “Alion will support AFSMO’s mission while enabling the commercial use of additional bandwidth, ensuring that all authorized users have the access they need while preventing interference.”
The news comes amid efforts by U.S. government officials to incentivize federal agencies to free up underutilized spectrum for commercial use.
In December, Kevin Kelly, CEO of government network solutions contractor LGS Innovations, said the reallocation of federal spectrum will be a long and difficult process due to the wide range of systems operating on the bands and the limited funds that would be available to make the switch.
According to the text of the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act, only one percent of the proceeds from the auction of federal spectrum would be returned to the agency giving up its spot.
“To migrate them is a monumental task,” Kelly said in December. “It certainly can be done, it needs to be done and finding more efficient ways to use the spectrum we have is paramount.”
In early December, the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act was unanimously approved by the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology and was forwarded to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration. The Senate version of the bill was referred to that body’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in March 2015.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)