Lawmakers convened at a House Communications Subcommittee hearing last Thursday offered contrasting viewpoints on a recent report, issued by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), recommending the sharing of 1755-1850 MHz band channels, which are currently used by federal agencies, between government and commercial wireless users. Wireless industry officials, meanwhile, called on Congress to clear and reallocate those channels for exclusive use by mobile carriers, citing the urgent need for spectrum to address demand for wireless broadband services. In his opening remarks, subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) cautioned that the PCAST sharing proposal “is simply not good enough,” as “sharing technologies and the underlying business models . . . are not sufficiently developed to make it the entire focus of our spectrum strategy or to supplant clearing.” Walden’s remarks followed on sentiments in support of reallocation that were aired by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) during a televised interview on C-SPAN last week. Stressing that the U.S. must find a way to make better use of scarce spectrum resources, Barton lamented during the interview that “the spectrum the government uses is the least efficiently used.” Subcommittee member Cliff Stearns (R-FL) concurred, asserting that “sharing should not be considered as a substitute for clearing.” However, Henry Waxman (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, endorsed the “all of the above” strategy outlined in the PCAST report, declaring that, “given the looming spectrum crunch . . . we cannot afford to take any options off the table.” Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), agreed, noting “there could be viable opportunities for both spectrum clearing and sharing to meet the short-term and long-term demands for our digital economy.” While emphasizing his department’s support for the wireless broadband goals of the Obama Administration, Major General Robert Wheeler, a deputy chief information officer for the Department of Defense, voiced doubt that sharing will result in making spectrum “move any faster,” as he acknowledged the possibility of repurposing for wireless use all 95 MHz of spectrum in the 1755-1850 MHz band in spite of “significant challenges.” As an executive of T-Mobile USA told the panel that, “sharing can be a tool to facilitate the transition of government spectrum to commercial use but the ultimate goal should be reallocation,” an official of Ericsson warned: “there are a host of technical and engineering challenges to building and operating networks that will rely upon shared spectrum, and there is no evidence yet that business models exist to sustain them.”