02:17 PM

FCC Tests Spectrum Dashboard

Currently in beta, the tool enables users to search the entire 225 MHz to 3.7 GHz mobile wireless spectrum range.

In a move that promises to remove much of the mystery surrounding mobile wireless spectrum for consumers, the FCC has unveiled a Spectrum Dashboard that transparently reveals many of the intricacies of the cell phone universe.

Currently in beta release, the dashboard enables users to search the entire 225 MHz to 3.7 GHz spectrum range. One particularly valuable feature enables users to produce maps depicting the geographic service area of licensed carriers.

Established this week in conjunction with the FCC's release of its National Broadband Plan, the dashboard will serve as a companion to the FCC's new service that enables users to measure the actual online speeds they are receiving.

"The Spectrum Dashboard allows users to more easily review how spectrum bands are allocated and used," the FCC stated in a release, adding that the dashboard "also allows users to identify license holders in specific areas."

The dashboard will also deliver information of value to commercial interests, because it will help stakeholders interested in deploying additional wireless broadband. Business interests will be easily able to find areas in need of more spectrum that are candidates for new service deployment.

Viewers accessing the dashboard may browse an FCC interactive spectrum chart and, for instance, may examine cellular, backhaul, mobile, or TV bands. Spectrum license holders can be identified over the dashboard, too. Raw data on spectrum may be accessed for export into spreadsheets.

Consumers exposed to advertisements proclaiming wireless coverage by competing carriers may use the dashboard to produce their own spectrum coverage maps. The maps can be broken down by geographic area, county-by-county, or even by specific carrier or licensee.

The data included in the dashboard includes the 700 MHz Band, Advanced Wireless Service (AWS), Broadband Personal Communications Service (PCS), Broadband Radio Service (BRS), Educational Broadband Service (EBS), Cellular, 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS), Full Power TV Broadcast, and Mobile Satellite Services (MSS).

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