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CHAPTER II - Changes within the Current Institutional Framework

WORKING GROUP 1: Drones and other Security-Related Issues
The Working Group on drones formulated an integrated approach to airspace and spectrum management for drones, making use of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advisory group mechanism. The burgeoning technology and business behind drones involves several federal, state and local agencies in the commercial and security sectors. The group set out to devise the best governmental structure and set of operational protocols to achieve desired results (including preventing the use of drones for terrorist activities, flight interference, radio frequency interference, breach of privacy and local aesthetics).

Spectrum is important to drones―and as Jim Williams, Founder and President of JHW Unmanned Solutions, LLC, explained, air traffic is pilot-based. The FAA would like wireless connectivity to be licensed and protected because the loss of connectivity causes the aircraft to become autonomous―a bad word in aviation.

NASA engineer Marcus Johnson explained that drones need spectrum for separation, command and control, tracking, payload and access to airspace information. The level of autonomy on the vehicle is inversely related to spectrum needs. That is, a more autonomous vehicle needs less access to spectrum than a vehicle that is being guided and must be in more regular communications with its base. Typically, drones will use low airspace, and the FAA does not manage airspace below 1200 feet in general, below 700 feet in major metropolitan areas, but controls all the way to the ground near airports. To accommodate the broadening uses of airspace and meet FAA standards, then, there is a need for some spectrum to be protected.

But there is no FAA rule that drones must use protected spectrum and there is no standard for what to do if a drone loses connectivity. While hobbyists today often use unlicensed spectrum for line-of-sight operation of drones below 400 feet, it is widely expected that commercial operations (e.g., Amazon deliveries) will use licensed spectrum provided by one of the wireless carriers. In fact, Qualcomm has studies that show the LTE infrastructure, for example, will work fine below 400 feet for controlling drones. There are also drones that require licensed and protected spectrum, such as the Facebook Aquila project. According to Facebook’s Head of Global Connectivity and Technology Policy, Robert Pepper, the Aquila project has a very high altitude unmanned backhaul capability, designed to operate over geographies where there is no telecommunications infrastructure. The individual drones have the wingspan of a Boeing 737, weigh 1000 pounds, and fly for three months at a time. They need to be brought down periodically for service.

It is expected that applications for drones will increase rapidly as multiple industries strive to create urban air mobility. Drones are increasingly used for policing, fighting fires and are even being prototyped for package delivery. Meanwhile, there are coming uses that will need agility and scalability for command and control spectrum. As Valerie Green, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Ligado Networks observed, because of these increased needs and demands for limited spectrum, government institutions will need to work at faster speeds to resolve the issues associated with widespread and diverse deployment. Green noted that guidance is important, or some companies will go forward and ask permission later.

Preston Marshall, Wireless Architect at Google Access, described the development of the Spectrum Access System (SAS) concept in the FCC’s 3.5 GHz proceeding, the Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS). The SAS builds on existing frequency coordination approaches by leveraging advanced computing to maximize the number of users that might be able to operate within a given area at a given time. This makes spectrum available where and when it is needed, and enforces protections and rights among use tiers. In the context of 3.5 GHz, the FCC contemplates authorizing multiple SAS administrators. This is a concept that could be useful in the context of managing the spectrum used for drones, and enabling prioritization of use, as well as preemption. The ecosystem would include multiple SAS providers that interact in a way that provides a unitary system. Among other things, this approach enables survivability if one SAS provider exits.

Presidential Memorandum on Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Shortly before the Aspen Institute Spectrum Roundtable, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Transportation regarding the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program. Section 1 of the Presidential Memorandum states:

It shall be the policy of the United States to promote the safe operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and enable the development of UAS technologies for use in agriculture, commerce, emergency management, human transportation, and other sectors. Compared to manned aircraft, UAS provide novel, low cost capabilities for both public and private applications….

The private sector has rapidly advanced UAS capabilities to address the needs of recreational, commercial, and public users. To promote continued technological innovation and to ensure the global leadership of the United States in this emerging industry, the regulatory framework for UAS operations must be sufficiently flexible to keep pace with the advancement of UAS technology, while balancing the vital Federal roles in protecting privacy and civil liberties; mitigating risks to national security and homeland security; and protecting the safety of the American public, critical infrastructure, and the Nation’s airspace. Well-coordinated integration of UAS into the national airspace system (NAS) alongside manned aircraft will increase the safety of the NAS and enable the authorization of more complex UAS operations.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken steps to integrate UAS into the NAS at specific test sites and has issued operational requirements for small UAS operations in the NAS. Further integration will require continued private-sector cooperation and the involvement of state, local, and tribal governments in federal efforts to develop and enforce regulations on UAS operations in their jurisdictions. Input from state, local, tribal, and private-sector stakeholders will be necessary to craft an optimal strategy for the national management of UAS operations. A coordinated effort between the private sector and among these governments will provide certainty and stability to UAS owners and operators, maximize the benefits of UAS technologies for the public, and mitigate risks to public safety and security.

The Presidential Memorandum is a solid statement that the policy of the United States is to move forward to open the space for drones. In the context of this memorandum, the Working Group developed the following actionable recommendation: establish a competitive, coordinated multi-provider framework to manage the spectrum and air space.

Recommendations

  • WHAT: Establish a competitive, coordinated multi-provider framework to manage the spectrum and air space
  • HOW: Through the establishment of an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) convened by the FAA
  • WHO: Committee chaired by FAA and appropriate industry representatives with representatives from drone manufacturing, operators, service providers, regulators, law enforcement and public interest groups
  • WHEN: Convene kick-off in early 2018 and complete effort with defined framework by the end of 2018

This recommendation addresses the urgency of the need to move forward quickly. The Aviation Rulemaking Committees convened by the FAA are not subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and therefore may be able to move more swiftly than other advisory committees, and more swiftly than the agency might be able to move on its own.

Although the proposal would in principle cover all drones, there is a significant difference in the requirements for commercial drones versus recreational drones. Recreational (sometimes called hobbyist drones)―which take only line-of-sight flights―generally do not have the same airspace and spectrum requirements as commercial drones. Therefore, the flexibility and availability of unlicensed spectrum would appear to be more appropriate for the hobbyist.

Commercial drones, by contrast, have specific requirements in communicating including integrity, continuity and low latency. These are drones that take non-line-of-sight flights. Smaller drones may have space, weight and power limitations that affect the type of communications that can be used. These commercial drones also require the capability for remote identification, so as not to be mistaken for a UAS that is a threat. Finally, potential future regulatory directions for commercial drones are likely to affect spectrum requirements.

One approach: SAS-like Solution. The group sought an approach that combines management of both airspace and spectrum management, which means that the FAA, NTIA and the FCC will all need to be involved. One approach would be an “SAS-like” solution―similar to what the FCC and NTIA developed for the 3.5 GHz, whereby a Spectrum Access System allows for prioritization of use of specific frequencies in specific geographic areas.

The World Radiocommunications Conference resulted in the reallocation from federal government use of aviation spectrum in the C and L bands for commercial use. FCC action to adopt rules for the use of this spectrum is required before the spectrum can be used for drones; these rules should be supported by the FAA and NTIA. The group anticipated that one of the outputs of the ARC would be recommendations from the FAA and NTIA on service rules for spectrum use by drones.

The FAA will also need to take action in order to make the airspace available for drones for anticipated (and unanticipated) uses. Therefore, the ARC outputs would include recommendations for FAA guidance for:

  • Flight over people
  • Flights beyond visual line-of-sight; and
  • Remote drone identification.

Applications Require Differing Treatments. The newly developed policy should consider various applications for drones. These include commercial applications, such as delivery, news reporting, mapping (such as mapping of real estate), and inspection of railroad tracks, oil and gas pipelines, and electric infrastructure. Another set of applications for government use might include delivery, law enforcement and public safety, military use and search-and-rescue missions. Academic institutions may use drones for education and research. Individuals may use drones for their hobbies, including photography or gaming. And of course, criminals and terrorists may seek to use drones for unlawful espionage, casing for future crimes, delivery and transport. They could even arm drones for domestic terrorism.

These applications have certain implications for spectrum policy, including spectrum requirements. Some drones, for example, will have payloads such as cameras, that require spectrum for communications. Participants recommend that payload communications use existing licensed and unlicensed spectrum and standards. For drones that use line-of-sight command and control, similarly existing licensed and unlicensed spectrum and standards are available. These drone operators may wish to use Wi-Fi, for example.

For non-line-of-sight command and control, however, a new spectrum arrangement may be required. Participants recommend that serious consideration be given to an approach under which carriers provide dedicated spectrum for non-line-of-sight command and control through prioritization and preemption, in a system similar to the Spectrum Access System (SAS) developed for 3.5 GHz. Under these arrangements, the drone operator would pay for service. This creates a monetization opportunity for companies that wish to participate in a coordinated system for managing spectrum and airspace.

Under this approach, the SAS administrator might be a license coordinator that can deal with both airspace and spectrum coordination (for example, the company ARINC is a frequency coordinator that manages spectrum for the airlines). There could be multiple SAS administrators, which would coordinate with each other to operate an integrated system. The users would likely be commercial operators of drones that need access to both airspace and spectrum for command and control. In the 3.5 GHz system, it is contemplated that a commercial user will be able to buy a CBRS “box” and obtain access to spectrum, with a choice of competitive providers of that spectrum access management. Preston Marshall suggested a similar system could be used for spectrum and airspace management. Others noted that the SAS is not yet fully operational, even in the 3.5 GHz band, and would need to be tested before it is applied to other bands. For this approach to work, it will be necessary to have transparency about choice, and the services being provided, and it will need to be done in a way that is accessible to all commercial enterprises, including small businesses.

The approach is a prioritization model for licensed spectrum, modulated by carrier prioritization and pre-emption capabilities. The higher-level spectrum policy framework would be as follows: For safety of life and critical infrastructure applications (e.g., flights over crowds of people, non-line-of-sight flights, “heavy weight” commercial drones such as the FedEx unmanned 767), licensed and protected spectrum is required for command-and-control communications.

Other considerations. The FAA, NTIA and FCC will need to develop policy with respect to other security and privacy considerations. By way of example, one would want to avoid drones operating as voyeurs, dropping cellphones into prisons, or flying near a stadium or airport.

The spectrum and airspace management will need to address additional concerns with respect to drones such as real-time control, safety, specific considerations for very large or very heavy drones, and range. It is essential to be able to control the behavior of a drone in real time, both for commercial purposes, and to avoid conflict with other drones or other operations in airspace. Safety issues are paramount, including concerns about loss of control of either the flight path or the physical payload. These safety concerns include cybersecurity risks, such as hacking or spoofing of the command and control functions. It is important to be able to prevent an inadvertent or malicious flight path. All of these issues may result in damage to people or property.

The size and weight of the drone is also a consideration. For example, specific guidance may be required for very large UAS such as FedEx flying a Boeing 767 without a pilot. It is likely to be important to have a higher degree of confidence about the command and control functions and protections for such UAS. Finally, the Working Group considered a range of issues that need attention―for example, the longer the range of the drone, the more complicated the hand-offs may become across spectrum and airspace.

UAS spectrum needs. The group identified specific UAS spectrum needs, as well as spectrum bands for each set of needs. The first requirement is separation―keeping drones away from each other and, importantly, from commercial airlines. For this requirement, the following bands are available: C Band (5 GHz), ADS-B in 978/1090 MHz (ADS-B is the band that airliners use to identify their locations to others), Radar (L to W Band), and LIDAR.

A second requirement is command and control (C2). Hobbyist drones today can use the ISM unlicensed bands for visual line-of-sight communications. In addition, they can use a variety of licensed bands, including the C Band, the L Band, bands used for 4G LTE or 5G, and satellite communications.

Tracking is a third requirement, and can be done in the C and L Bands, as well as bands used for 4G LTE and 5G, and satellite communications. For visual line-of-sight operations, the ISM bands are available. Payload communications can be conducted either by using unlicensed bands (in a line-of-sight environment) or commercial bands used for 4G LTE or 5G.

The final requirement is UAS identification. It is important to be able to interrogate a drone to determine whether it is friend or foe, and whether counter-UAS measures may be required. It is conceivable that in the future, the drone (or payload) would have a need to be able to switch spectrum bands while in flight, similar to mobile phones.

The following two charts illustrate a potential UAS traffic communications and flight management and how it would interact with other existing air traffic management systems.

image 1

This chart of the UAS Traffic Management System illustrates the concept of airspace and spectrum management for drones, and shows how different types of communications in different spectrum bands could be used as part of an integrated system.

The upper left-hand corner illustrates satellite communications (e.g., GPS), which can be used to enhance navigation for drones, supplementing terrestrial-spectrum-based command and control. This is particularly important for non-line-of-sight operations. Also on the left side of the chart, the vehicle-to-vehicle communication could be used to maintain separation, or to allow drones to fly in formation. At the bottom left, direct command and control could be used for a hobbyist, flying under 400 feet, with line of sight.

In the top middle, the chart shows two UAS Service Suppliers, which are the SAS-type systems described earlier, interacting with the Flight Information Management System (FIMS) which provides information on airspace to commercial airliners. In the middle of the chart, radar would be the means of ensuring obstacle avoidance. At the bottom middle, this distributed command and control function could be provided via wireless-carrier-controlled 4G LTE systems, for flights that are non-line-of-sight.

On the right side of the chart, airborne sensors would include ADS-B, the frequencies used to allow commercial airliners to identify their locations. The function of “detect and avoid” could be used to maintain separation, and as described earlier, could be executed via multiple spectrum bands, including C Band, L Band, ADS-B, Radar and LIDAR. Ground surveillance is shown in the bottom right corner. Privately owned and operated ground-based radar systems can provide a detect-and-avoid service when airborne radar is not practical or cost-effective.

image 2

The UTM Architecture illustration focuses on the functions of the UAS Service Suppliers, which would control drones in the context of overall airspace, and the interaction with the Flight Information Management System (FIMS). The UTM would be developed and deployed by the private sector, while FAA would develop and deploy the FIMS, which would provide information regarding airspace such as the operation of commercial airliners. On the lower left side of the chart, ANSP stands for Air Navigation Service Provider.

Working Group 1 consisted of Dennis Roberson (coordinator), Pierre de Vries, David Edelman, Harold Feld, Marcus Johnson, Preston Marshall, Carl Povelites, Peter Tenhula and Jim Williams.

WORKING GROUP 2: IoT, 5G and Business Apps
In each of these areas (IoT, 5G and Business Apps), businesses will be innovating with new products and services using spectrum as a key resource. What are the governmental barriers to effective and efficient roll-outs and provision of services? What other non-economic issues are involved that implicate different government agencies, including state and local? How should these efforts be coordinated so that government functions most effectively and fairly?

The Working Group developed a set of recommendations, some of which require significant changes to the current federal institutions that manage spectrum, and others that propose incremental changes to the current system. The incremental recommendations are discussed in this section, and the systemic recommendations are discussed later in the report.

The group began by describing what is meant by 5G applications. Participants mentioned sixteen different M2M verticals, including IoT, autonomous vehicles, smart everything (factories, grid, cities, infrastructure, buildings, homes, farms), augmented and virtual reality, and high-definition mobile video. 5G applications provide an opportunity to advance the national purposes described in the National Broadband Plan, including health care, education, energy and the environment, economic opportunity, government performance, civic engagement and public safety.

The group further identified the key technologies as 5G networks, sensors, the cloud, artificial intelligence and data analytics. They noted that the transition to 5G network architecture and equipment will be very different than previous transitions. And they reiterated the point that 5G application requirements are extremely heterogeneous, with tremendous variations in requirements with respect to latency, speed, throughput, distance, power, mobility and spectrum frequency. Spectrum, in any case, is only one input. The key requirement for 5G applications will be abundant bandwidth, and that will require much more deployment of fiber.

Spectrum management for 5G will be different in degree, but not in kind, from spectrum management issues for previous generations. There will be more complex negotiations over multiple bands, and a proliferation of devices, users and affected parties. There is a sense of urgency about putting faster processes in place. The low-hanging fruit, in terms of reallocation of spectrum, is gone―meaning that making spectrum available in the future will be more complicated than in the past. Institutions and processes are already fraught, and some new players in both industry and government are unfamiliar with the territory. For example, the FDA will have to deal with pills that send signals when they have been ingested, and as they move through the body.

Participants also noted that there is a major disconnect between Wall Street and Washington, D.C. on the business case for 5G. Wall Street is not yet convinced there is a business case. But federal policymakers are moving forward because they want the U.S. to be a global leader with respect to 5G. Steve Unger, Group Director and Board Member of Britain’s’ Ofcom, noted that European politicians similarly want to get ahead of the United States and China on 5G, and that there is a risk that the politicians will get ahead of the business case. The group had two main recommendations: lower transaction costs and remove local barriers to deployment.

Recommendations:
Lower transaction costs. The first idea in this category is to continue and expand the flexible use policy, which has worked extremely well for commercial spectrum. The group referenced the 2016 Aspen Institute Roundtable on Spectrum Policy Report, “Revisiting Spectrum Policy: Seven Years After the National Broadband Plan,” which includes a more detailed discussion of ways in which flexible use policies could be expanded.

The second idea is a GSA-equivalent for spectrum or a robust overlay regime, or perhaps some hybrid. The GSA-equivalent would require significant institutional change, and is discussed in more detail in the next section. An overlay regime, like that used to clear microwave licensees out of what became PCS spectrum, is also a tool used successfully in the past for commercial spectrum, and could be used in the future.

Tom Hazlett, Professor at Clemson University, recommended this overlay approach for the broadcast television spectrum, and although the FCC used an incentive auction instead, an overlay regime is still a candidate for use in additional bands, including the remaining broadcast television bands. Hazlett noted that T-Mobile, which acquired certain 600 MHz licenses in the broadcast incentive auction, is effectively implementing the overlay technique by creating incentives for early clearing by broadcasters.

In the past, the industry has not used the overlay approach for government spectrum, but the group offered it as an option for government bands as well. Hazlett said, “We’re all after systemic reform, but it doesn’t happen systematically; it comes through the PCS overlay and broadcast incentive auction. We have a lot of market experience that we didn’t have 20 years ago and certainly didn’t have 40 years ago.”

The third idea is to have more experimentation, and to learn from experiments. The fourth idea in this category is to introduce “rational carrots and sticks” for federal users.

Remove local barriers to deployment. The goal here is to create an environment for “well-intentioned and well-informed” local government processes, and address situations where cities or localities are a barrier to deployment of infrastructure.

Larry Downes, Project Director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy at Georgetown University, noted that infrastructure for 5G is different than previous generations of cellular infrastructure. There will be many more 5G small cells and antennae than there are macro towers today, and they will be attached to light poles, utility poles and building exteriors. Much more backhaul is needed. Therefore, the stresses on local processes are different. There are 50 states (plus D.C.), and tens of thousands of localities. All have processes built for 2G, 3G and/or 4G, which do not necessarily contemplate the differences that 5G poses, so that many cities have not yet adapted to small cells. In contrast, Managing Partner at New Street Research’s Jonathan Chaplin described Asian cities where there are no bandwidth issues. Softbank had 500,000 small sites in Tokyo five years ago. Chinese cities have millions of small cells. The reason posited by Chaplin is that very easy, cheap access to real estate means carriers can easily and cheaply deploy infrastructure.

The group considered a set of options to remove local barriers, which are not mutually exclusive. The first idea is to do something like what Google Fiber did in getting cities to compete for infrastructure by adopting streamlined processes. A second approach is to have a set of mandates from the FCC and/or Congress. These could include “deemed granted” where applications are deemed granted if the locality does not act within a certain time period. Alternatively, one could have a shot clock that allows for some process if the locality has not acted within the specified time frame―perhaps going to court, or to the FCC to obtain a decision.

Carriers have also raised concerns about fees charged for sites. For example, Carl Povelites, Assistant Vice President of Global Public Policy at AT&T said that while lots of cities want to work with carriers, others do not, and seek to block deployment from an aesthetic or cost perspective. He said that some localities want to charge $3,000 per cell site per month. One solution might be Congressional or FCC action to cap fees charged, or to establish guidelines for setting fee schedules based on local variables.

The FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) is another vehicle for removing local barriers, using techniques such as model ordinances and best practices. Preston Marshall said that Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs) are a larger problem than streets, and will be an important issue for 5G deployments, which need to be indoors if they use millimeter wave spectrum, for example.

Working Group 2 consisted of Larry Downes (coordinator), Jonathan Chaplin, Valerie Green, Tom Hazlett, Blair Levin, Robert Pepper, Charla Rath and Donald Stockdale.

WORKING GROUP 3: Pro-Social Activities
Government spectrum management and regulation is part of broader laws aiming to serve the public interest. This often includes pro-social goals such as universal service/digital inclusion, fairness, environmental considerations, historic preservation, and protection of civil rights and civil liberties. How do these goals factor into the appropriate structure for spectrum management, including inter-agency relations? How do the economics of IoT and 5G affect broadband provisioning to people in urban, suburban and rural areas? The Working Group developed a set of recommendations.

The Working Group on Pro-Social Activities observed that heterogeneous use cases require new thinking, new licensing tools and different technology platforms. It is desirable that these technologies be used as widely as possible, so policies should encourage investment and abundance, in rural and underserved communities as well as urban locations. Simultaneously, it appears that 5G and IoT investment will initially be focused on urban areas. Doug Brake noted that 5G increases the risk of a digital divide, particularly with respect to rural areas and low-income people, and issues become more acute. As currently described, 5G does not increase coverage.

While recognizing the need for some support mechanisms, it is important not to crowd out private sector investment, but rather to leverage existing networks and infrastructure assets. It is necessary to be sensitive to the variety of users, use cases and technical characteristics―solutions are highly unlikely to be singular or one-size-fits-all. Finally, the development of effective policies will require user buy-in and trust across various stakeholders, and inclusion in the policy-development process. Luisa Lancetti, Chief Counsel at T-Mobile, noted that the need for education, information and buy-in is an issue today, not just when 5G comes along. Working Group 3 had two main recommendations: extend baseline connectivity, largely through the establishment of an Executive Branch Interagency Coordinating Council to Manage Broadband Governance, and expand privacy and cybersecurity.

Recommendations
Extend Baseline Connectivity. The ultimate goal is ubiquity: robust mobile networks that are affordable for low income users. Access to these networks will enable education, economic activity and access to government services. The United Kingdom is working toward “digital by default”―a system in which access to government services is primarily online. As U.S. agencies similarly convert from paper to online methods, access to broadband becomes ever more critical.

The first step in developing policies to extend baseline connectivity is to identify gaps (defined broadly) in networks (defined broadly). A focus of the recommendation is to leverage communications policy in conjunction with the provision of services by other government agencies, such as health care-related services and housing. Under this approach, government agencies would continue to deliver on their core missions (health care, housing, etc.) but the federal agencies with responsibility for communications would coordinate to encourage broadband adoption.

The second step is the establishment of an Executive Branch Interagency Coordinating Council to Manage Broadband Governance. The Council would include representatives from the FCC, NTIA, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and other federal agencies that provide funding and administer programs that support people with low incomes, as well as rural, tribal and underserved areas. Under this approach, OMB would serve as the lead governing authority on the council, and would oversee all deliverables and project coordination across multiple agencies with expertise on a particular issue. In addition to its federal members, the Council would also include representation (or otherwise seek input) from: mayors, governors, tribal nations, local utilities and other important stakeholders.

While such a council may be unwieldly at times, the group stressed the importance of user buy-in and trust across various stakeholders, and the need to be inclusive. Inclusive and diverse representation in terms of demographics, skills and backgrounds are critical to success. Jessica Zufolo, Senior Advisor at the Universal Service Administrative Company noted that unless policymakers talk early and often to certain stakeholders, such as tribal nations, these stakeholders may stop the process cold. One baseline connectivity objective could be to use coordination to extend networks along roads and rails, and leverage private sector investment to make mobile broadband available in more geographic areas. The goal is to have ubiquitous and affordable mobile broadband to enable education and activities required for government services. If government services are “digital by default,” as in the United Kingdom, Americans must have the ability to get online. Other potential topics for the Council are digital inclusion, adoption, digital literacy, job creation and transportation solutions.

The Council would also be a vehicle to communicate to agencies that serve low-income people about the importance of access to affordable broadband. These agencies include Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as agencies that administer social safety net programs like SNAP and Medicaid. Participants also discussed other ideas for improving access, such as zero-rating for .gov websites, and public Wi-Fi networks in public institutions—not just buildings, but buses, for example.

Although OMB is historically not involved in such a role with respect to communications networks, the group felt that it is important to have an agency with budget authority, as well as management clout, to be accountable for achieving these objectives.

Privacy & Cybersecurity. Considering the impact of 5G and IoT on privacy and cybersecurity, the group noted that it is necessary to have buy-in and trust for 5G and IoT applications and solutions across the mass market, and that concerns about privacy and cybersecurity could undermine use of next generation services.

With respect to privacy, IoT brings new challenges. For example, the informed consent frameworks used in the U.S. and Europe are designed for people who are capable of giving consent, rather than for things, which are not. Steve Unger said when Ofcom put out a request for comment on IoT, the respondents were generally not worried about spectrum, but were worried about privacy regulation. Therefore, Unger said, it is important to make sure the privacy regulator understands the telecom sector.

The group viewed the best solution to be federal privacy legislation that creates a uniform national framework and consolidates oversight under the Federal Trade Commission. Participants noted the trade-offs between a framework that provides flexibility but less certainty, and prescriptive laws that may not be adaptable in a timely manner as technologies change. Within the informed consent framework (recognizing that it may need adjustment for IoT), federal privacy modernization should provide some guidance on what data might be subject to opt-in and opt-out protections. Federal legislation would avoid duplicative or conflicting jurisdiction, avoid multiple state laws, and avoid the balkanization of the Internet ecosystem. The development of the legislation should recognize the trade-offs, and the need to consider consumer protection, industry credibility and the economic value of data.

With respect to cybersecurity, there is a danger that if a structure for dealing with cybersecurity issues is not already in place when the inevitable cyber-attacks on networks happen, the response could be ill-advised and have unintended consequences. The Working Group regards communications networks as vulnerable to attack, but thought that the federal government approach to cybersecurity should be holistic. The group did not recommend institutional changes, but rather would rely on the Department of Homeland Security, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework, and the encouragement of continual sharing of best practices.

Working Group 3 consisted of Nicol Turner-Lee (coordinator), Doug Brake (coordinator), Michael Calabrese, Alex Hoehn-Saric, Luisa Lancetti, Ruth Milkman, Steve Unger and Jessica Zufolo.

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