Wireless communications coverage is limited at some installations, including rural bases and some larger ones, according to language in the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill approved last week by the House. At some larger installations, communications infrastructure outside the fence line is unable to provide consistent or optimal service to portions of the base. To monitor the various approaches the services are pursuing to improve wireless communications capabilities on installations, the House Armed Services Committee directs the service secretaries to brief it by Sept. 30 on their departments’ requirements, plans and timelines for improving coverage.
The Navy is considering using real estate agreements, such as easements and enhanced use leases, to allow commercial industry to develop communications infrastructure on its installations to improve service and connectivity, according to the report. The Army and the Air Force also want to improve wireless capabilities on their bases but may be considering a different tack than the Navy.
“The committee believes that wireless communications coverage on military installations not only provide valuable support for the quality of life for service members and their families, but also can support military requirements related to force protection, logistics, training or operations,” the report states.