Bill Introduced to Improve Spectrum Coordination Between FCC and NTIA

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Sens. Roger Wicker, (R-MS), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, John Thune, (R-SD), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, and Marsha Blackburn, (R-TN), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, introduced the Improving Spectrum Coordination Act. The legislation would require the FCC and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to update their agreement to conduct joint spectrum planning.

“Over the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic rise in spectrum use and many more disputes over how it is managed,” Wicker said. “This legislation would require the NTIA and FCC to update how they allocate spectrum and resolve disputes to reflect today’s demand for the deployment of next-generation technologies.” 

The Improving Spectrum Coordination Act would:

  • Foster a more collaborative and cooperative working relationship between the FCC and NTIA;
  • Require that the revised agreement include processes for addressing policy differences;
  • Create a resolution process for resolving disputes, including specific timelines for resolution;
  • Clarify the role of the NTIA as the representative of federal agencies before the FCC;
  • Ensure the consideration of scientific analyses and other implications of spectrum policy in decision-making;
  • Formalize staff-level working groups for spectrum planning;
  • Outline processes for engaging with the Department of State on matters of international spectrum coordination; and
  • Require the agreement be updated every four years, and that the agencies jointly report to Congress annually on spectrum planning activities. 

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