FCC, NTIA Hold First Monthly Meeting on Spectrum Coordination
Wednesday, March 30, 2022 | Comments

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alan Davidson met to discuss spectrum policy efforts. This was the first monthly FCC/National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) coordination meeting since the leaders launched a spectrum coordination initiative.

The leaders also announced that they have launched a joint task force which met this week to begin discussing the details of a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the agencies. Under the agencies’ new spectrum coordination initiative, the FCC and NTIA are committed to updating the existing MOU for the first time in nearly twenty years to address gaps in government coordination and to better reflect today’s spectrum opportunities and challenges.

“A partnership requires clear communication, open doors, thoughtful listening, and mutual respect,” Rosenworcel and Davidson said in a joint statement. “Our agencies have very compatible and complimentary roles in American spectrum policymaking. Congress has been clear about NTIA’s statutory role as manager of the federal government’s use of spectrum and the FCC as the independent agency responsible for non-federal spectrum policy. Our agencies have a long history of working together to ensure that spectrum policy decisions foster economic growth, ensure our national and homeland security, maintain U.S. global leadership and advance other vital U.S. needs. That will only continue and grow as we build this new agreement.”

Monthly meetings between the chairwoman and assistant secretary will help them coordinate their agencies’ work and conduct joint spectrum planning. Among the topics discussed in the first meeting were the national spectrum strategy, mid-band and millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum to support next-generation commercial networks, and the FCC’s upcoming receiver standards notice of inquiry. These monthly meetings will go above and beyond the existing statutory requirement, as well as the existing MoU between the agencies, which provides that the chair and the assistant secretary meet twice each calendar year.

This bilateral task force met by teleconference this week to begin working to develop recommendations for the chairwoman and assistant secretary on revisions to the FCC-NTIA MoU. The FCC’s team will be directed by the Office of the Chairwoman, with support from technical and policy experts from the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET), and other parts of the commission, as appropriate. Likewise, NTIA’s Office of the Assistant Secretary will be supported by technical and policy experts from its Office of Spectrum Management, and other offices, as appropriate. The teams expect to meet regularly to progress this important agreement for the present and future of American spectrum policy.

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