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Bipartisan E&C Leaders Urge NTIA to Provide Leadership Across the Administration in the Management of Federal Spectrum

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Full Committee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Latta (R-OH) wrote to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today urging the agency to fulfill its statutory role and provide needed leadership in the management of federal spectrum use. 

“By statute, the NTIA has ‘the responsibility to ensure that the views of the executive branch on telecommunications matters are effectively presented to the [FCC].’ In recent years, several federal agencies with spectrum allocations have circumvented this statutory process and argued the importance of their particular use cases directly to the FCC, rather than working through the NTIA as the central repository and manager of federal spectrum,” the lawmakers wrote to NTIA Acting Assistant Secretary Evelyn Remaley. 

The bipartisan Committee leaders wrote that Congress specifically designated NTIA as the authority on federal spectrum management to ensure agencies do not improperly elevate their own spectrum needs over others. Allowing a single agency with significant spectrum needs to manage both its and other agencies’ spectrum resources would risk inefficient use of this resource, they wrote, emphasizing that NTIA’s job is to resolve conflicts in consultation with the President. The letter comes as the Committee leaders wait to receive the results of their inquiry to the Government Accountability Office seeking recommendations on how NTIA can improve its spectrum management process.  

“As spectrum resources become more strained, it is crucial that the NTIA maintain leadership over all federal spectrum issues. The NTIA should continue to work with federal agencies and the FCC to ensure all spectrum resources are being used as effectively as possible, and we look forward to working with the NTIA as it continues this important work,” the Committee leaders concluded.

Read the full letter to the NTIA HERE.

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