FCC eyes blockchain to track, monitor growing wireless spectrums

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The need for new Wi-Fi spectrums is expected to grow as infrastructure becomes increasingly more connected through IoT sensors, leaving U.S. government agencies in need of a database that can dynamically record and monitor their use.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants a spectrum track-and-trace technology to be open-source, distributed and secure, so not surprisingly, it has been to explore the use of blockchain ledgers.

“If you think about a world of the Internet of Things with 50 billion devices and wireless functionalities and input to all of them, we should figure out how we can have a real-time market for those spectrum inputs instead of this clunky system we have today with these exclusive-use licenses,” FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel told attendees of MIT’s The Business of Blockchain conference here last week.

The total number of connected Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices is expected to leap from 21 billion this year to 50 billion by 2022, according to recent data from Juniper Research.

Blockchain runs business automation applications known as “smart contracts” that could offer a standardized method for accelerating data exchange between IoT devices.

As a distributed ledger technology (DLT), blockchain databases use a peer-to-peer computer model to share the same information in near real time across a limitless number of nodes. Everyone allowed onto the chain has access to the same information, so the process of tracking spectrums would be transparent.

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