US Regulator FCC Eyes Blockchain in Wireless Spectrum Management Shake-Up
The Federal Communications Commission wants to transform how it awards and makes use of scarce wireless frequencies.
United States regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering blockchain for wireless network licensing, Cointelegraph learned at MIT Technology Review’s Business of Blockchain conference on May 2.
In a speech at MIT, commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the technology could help simplify and reduce the cost involved in dealing with so-called wireless spectrum organization.
Wireless devices all require radio waves to communicate, with the growing number of such devices and Internet of Things (IoT) expansion contributing to a shortage of available frequencies.
The FCC is in charge of saying which companies can use which frequencies, awarding rights via a complex auction process that is ripe for disruption, according to Rosenworcel.
“There's a lot of software involved and verifying financial and technical data. We take in bids, and manage those bids and issue licenses,” she said.
The FCC has sought to upend the current status quo for several years, championing options such as frequency sharing among clients to stop available capacity lying dormant.
Under the current situation, tracking usage data also provides less-than-perfect insight into the market, something blockchain could also change.
“We have this registry from all of these licenses, but on a day-to-day basis we don't actually know with great clarity what's being used and what's not being used,” Rosenworcel continued. She added:
“So if you put this on a public blockchain you'd have this record of where demand is for what airwaves.”
As Cointelegraph reported, IoT forms a central preoccupation for blockchain firms and regulators alike, which use the technology to solve a range of challenges associated with its rapid proliferation.