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Rubio, Warner Request Information On Future Of Spectrum Management

Jul 19, 2013 | Press Releases

Senators: “If the United States is going to continue leading the world in wireless innovation, freeing up more spectrum for commercial users is essential. This requires an effective NTIA that is fulfilling its responsibilities to manage federal spectrum.”

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Warner (D-VA) today urged the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to effectively manage federal spectrum and asked how the agency will carry out this responsibility and implement the recent White House memorandum, “Expanding America’s Leadership in Wireless Innovation.” The request was made in a letter signed by a group of members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

On June 14, 2013, the White House released a memorandum directing agencies to enhance spectrum efficiency and facilitate access to more spectrum for consumer services and applications. As the agency in charge of managing the federal government’s use of spectrum, NTIA will play a lead role in making more federally held spectrum available for commercial use and carrying out the memorandum. 

In the letter, the senators raise concerns that the agency’s ability to manage spectrum has been questioned in the past by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).”In April 2011, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined how NTIA manages federal spectrum, as well as how agencies are using assigned spectrum, and raised serious concerns. Among the findings in the report, GAO determined that NTIA ‘cannot ensure that spectrum is being used efficiently by federal agencies’ and ‘has limited ability to monitor federal spectrum use,’” the senators write. “Therefore, we request your assistance in better understanding the steps the agency has taken over the past two years to address the GAO’s findings and recommendations, and what your plans are to implement the process envisioned in the memorandum. Without effective NTIA management and oversight, we have serious reservations about the agency’s ability to maximize spectrum efficiency and relinquish portions of federal spectrum.”

In addition to Rubio and Warner, the letter is signed by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Dean Heller (R-NV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Mark Begich (D-AK), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Tim Scott (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Brian Schatz (D-HI).

The full text of the letter is available here