Senators Praise Enhanced Spectrum Coordination Between NTIA and FCC

August 3, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, John Thune, R-S.D., ranking member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, today released the following statement praising the updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that governs coordination between the agencies to conduct joint spectrum planning. 

“As the demand for spectrum continues to grow, it is important that the government agencies responsible for spectrum management work collaboratively to ensure the U.S. is utilizing this resource effectively to encourage investment and innovation. Consistent with our legislation, the updated agreement between the FCC and NTIA is the first in almost two decades. Still, it is important to pass our legislation to codify this effort and ensure that we do not go another 20 years without an update.”

Last year, the Senators introduced the Improving Spectrum Coordination Act, which requires that this MOU be updated to formalize spectrum coordination between the two agencies.  

The Improving Spectrum Coordination Act would:

  • Foster a more collaborative and cooperative working relationship between the FCC and NTIA; 
  • Require that the revised MOU 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 MOU be updated every four years, and that the agencies jointly report to Congress annually on spectrum planning activities.