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New agreement gets Pentagon closer to clearing airwaves for sale


By Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Defense Department has reached an agreement with the broadcasting industry on sharing some radio airwaves, making progress toward President Barack Obama’s goal of clearing more valuable spectrum for mobile networks. Obama directed federal agencies in June to look for ways to give up or share with the private sector more of the airwaves they control, three years after his call to open up 500 megahertz (MHz) of federal spectrum for commercial use to satisfy growing demands from data-hungry devices and services. The Pentagon, which uses spectrum for programs such as pilot training and drone systems, has been criticized for resisting efforts to share. On Monday, the roadmap to this goal emerged, thanks an agreement with the National Association of Broadcasters that would move military systems to another slice of frequencies, which would be shared with remote news gathering operations often used in emergencies.

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