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White House Launches National Spectrum Policy 

By Rachel Jewett | November 14, 2023

Photo: Via Satellite archive

The White House released a National Spectrum Strategy on Tuesday, developed in coordination with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

President Biden released a Presidential Memorandum, establishing spectrum policy and a process for resolving spectrum-related conflicts.

The strategy identifies 2,786 megahertz of spectrum across five spectrum bands for in-depth study to determine suitability for potential new uses. It also identifies a pipeline of spectrum to study for private sector use, including the lower 3 GHz and the 7-8 GHz bands. The strategy also improves coordination on spectrum decision-making both within the government and between the private sector and the public sector, and focuses on advanced technology for spectrum sharing capabilities. 

Biden’s Memorandum also establishes an Interagency Spectrum Advisory Council as the lead interagency forum for agencies to advise the NTIA on spectrum policy matters. The NTIA has been instructed to publish a charter for the council within 90 days. 

“Spectrum is a vital national resource that plays a central, if unseen, role in American life” commented Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator. “Demand for this scarce resource, especially the midband airwaves critical for next-generation wireless services, continues to grow. The National Spectrum Strategy will foster innovation in the public and private sectors, and ensure America remains the world leader in wireless technologies.”

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement that the National Spectrum Strategy is a start for the next phase of wireless leadership in the U.S. She also called for the FCC’s spectrum auction authority to be restored, after it expired earlier this year.

“For three decades, the FCC has used this authority to distribute licenses for our airwaves so commercial actors can deploy, create, and innovate. Over this time, the FCC has held 100 auctions and raised more than $233 billion for the United States Treasury. As a result, our auction program has enjoyed strong bipartisan support here at home, and our efforts have been a model for regulators worldwide,” Rosenworcel said in a statement. “Restoring this authority will provide the United States with the strongest foundation to compete in a global wireless economy, counter our adversaries’ technology ambitions, and safeguard our national security.”