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ITS Research on Spectrum Engineering Showcased at IEEE

August 11, 2022 by NTIA

NTIA serves a critical role in ensuring the most effective and efficient use of spectrum across the federal government. With a focus on working toward a coordinated, national approach to spectrum use, promoting evidence-based approaches to spectrum allocation is a critical endeavor. Much effort is currently focused on spectrum sharing. NTIA’s research laboratory, the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), is bringing needed clarity to the challenge through its specialized engineering studies known as electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) studies.

Specialized engineering studies assess the ability of wireless telecommunications systems, in particular emerging wireless technologies such as 5G, to function acceptably in their electromagnetic environment. If multiple systems are operating in the same or adjacent spectrum, EMC studies can determine whether they all function for their intended purposes or will cause unacceptable interference and performance degradation. 

As a leading expert in the essential EMC engineering disciplines -  spectrum measurements, spectrum propagation modeling, and interference analysis - ITS performs EMC studies to support NTIA’s Office of Spectrum Management and inform spectrum sharing policy and regulation as well as to answer EMC questions posed by other federal agencies. 

Attending the first Generation Connect Global Youth Summit  

August 03, 2022 by Pearl Risberg, Intern in NTIA’s Office of International Affairs 

In early June, around 500 young people from more 100 countries descended on Kigali, Rwanda for the ITU’s first Generation Connect Global Youth Summit. I was lucky to represent NTIA and the United States as part of a delegation sponsored by USTTI.  

The Summit sought to bring together “digital natives” – those of us who grew up in the age of the Internet – to interact directly with global business leaders, government officials, and policymakers. In his opening remarks, Rwandan Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente recognized young people as a major asset to the global community. At the same time, I—along with my fellow youth delegates—gained a new respect for our digital fluency and how it can bring about change.  

The Summit was made up of intergenerational dialogues and small group sessions on core issues like the future of work, the gender digital divide, and digital solutions for climate action. I learned about other young people’s work to address policy challenges, like a group of young Nigerian entrepreneurs training children in digital literacy, a Ugandan engineer who aspires to become an astronaut, and an ICT analyst for the government of Trinidad and Tobago, among many others.  

Registration is Open for ISART 2022, Held June 13-16

June 02, 2022 by NTIA

Registration is now open for the International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies (ISART)™ 2022, which will explore the theme: “Evolving Spectrum-Sharing Regulation through Data-, Science-, and Technology-Driven Analysis and Decision-Making.”

The goal for ISART 2022 is to chart a technical roadmap and gain consensus for specific data-, science-, and technology-driven means to evolve and expedite spectrum sharing analyses and decision-making and identify opportunities for continuous improvements and developments beyond the current linear spectrum sharing process.

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson will open the conference, which is hosted by the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), the science and engineering laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

The virtual conference will be held over four days:

  • June 13: 1 to 4 p.m. MDT
  • June 14: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. MDT
  • June 15: 1 to 4:30 p.m. MDT
  • June 16: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. MDT

ISART is a U.S. government-sponsored science and engineering discussion-based conference that brings together government, industry, and academic leaders (both domestic and international) for the purpose of forecasting the development and application of advanced radio technologies.

How Public Input Helped Shape NTIA’s High-Speed Internet Grant Programs Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

May 12, 2022 by NTIA

On November 15, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which included a historic $65 billion investment to ensure that everyone in America has access to affordable, reliable, high-speed internet. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) was allocated more than $48 billion of this funding to work with states and other stakeholders to lay the critical groundwork to connect every American. 

NTIA developed a whole-of-government, whole-of-nation strategy to meet President Biden’s goal to connect everyone in America to reliable, affordable, high-speed internet service. On January 7, 2022, NTIA requested public comment on a wide range of policy and program considerations associated with the new high-speed internet grant programs authorized and funded by the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The request for comment was a vital part of NTIA’s strategy, allowing a broad and diverse set of stakeholders to inform program development and help close the digital divide and meet the ambitious goal of connecting every American. This process bolstered NTIA’s work and improved the number and quality of ideas under consideration as the agency developed the Notices of Funding Opportunity for the new grant programs.

New NTIA Data Show Enduring Barriers to Closing the Digital Divide, Achieving Digital Equity

May 11, 2022 by Rafi Goldberg, Senior Policy Advisor, Digital Equity, Office of Policy Analysis and Development

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted what many already knew: high-speed internet access is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. As workplaces and schools shifted to online environments, families that lacked access to affordable, reliable, high-speed connections, appropriate devices, and digital skills fell further behind.

Newly released data from the 2021 NTIA Internet Use Survey show that historically less-connected communities used the Internet and connected devices in greater numbers than they did two years ago. Despite that progress, the substantial disparities that NTIA has tracked for decades continued to be evident, highlighting the urgent need to work toward digital equity in the United States.

The 2021 NTIA Internet Use Survey represents the first comprehensive federal data on how Internet use in America has evolved since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results make clear that our nation faces substantial challenges to achieving full digital equity. Over the coming months, NTIA will continue to analyze the data to help inform the important policy choices that will be made as part of the new high-speed internet programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Digital Equity Act, in particular, references the Internet Use Survey as a key data point to help determine award amounts for the $1.5 billion State Digital Equity Planning and Capacity Grant Programs.

Introducing the Tribal Broadband Planning Toolkit

May 10, 2022 by NTIA

A successful broadband project begins with a broadband plan, one that lays out the goals and path forward to enhance internet access and meaningful use within a target area or community. But there are many moving pieces involved in creating a broadband plan. BroadbandUSA’s Tribal Broadband Planning Toolkit aims to simplify the process for tribes. It provides the guidance, knowledge, and resources to design, implement, and then execute a broadband plan in tribal communities.

While this toolkit can be used at any time and for any broadband planning purpose – for NTIA or other programs – it comes at an especially opportune time: The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) allocated an additional $2 billion and relaxed some of the program requirements to the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program.

The toolkit outlines seven, common elements that serve as the building blocks of a tribal broadband plan. Designed for interactive use, each element has a dedicated worksheet and a tab in an accompanying, downloadable Excel-based template. The elements are:

NTIA Seeks Input on Competition in the Mobile App Ecosystem

April 25, 2022 by Alan Davidson, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information

Apps on mobile devices are a part of daily life for many Americans. They allow us to talk with our friends, find a ride home, play games, or monitor our health. These applications on our mobile phones and tablets can help small business owners reach new customers, and thousands of American entrepreneurs and innovators are working on apps that increase productivity, improve health care and make learning more fun.

That’s why mobile apps have become a significant part of our economy -- by one industry account, the app economy was valued at $1.7 trillion in 2020, employing more than 5.9 million Americans.

In his Executive Order on promoting competition, President Biden recognized America’s tech sector as an engine of innovation and growth, but he warned that dominant Internet platforms can “use their power to exclude market entrants, to extract monopoly profits, and to gather intimate personal information that they can exploit for their own advantage.”  

With the goal of promoting a fair, open, and competitive marketplace, the Executive Order directed the Department of Commerce to conduct a study of the mobile app ecosystem, and to use an open and transparent process to hear from the many stakeholders in the app economy, including consumers, app developers, businesses, and nonprofits.

NTIA Celebrates National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week!

April 13, 2022 by April McClain-Delaney, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information

This week marks National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, and NTIA is joining the entire nation in saluting our dedicated 911 telecommunicators. The dedicated professionals who answer our country’s 911 calls are a crucial first touch point to communities and individuals experiencing emergency situations. Whether taking and triaging initial calls for assistance, routing life-saving emergency medical services, or dispatching and coordinating field responders, America’s 911 professionals save lives each and every day.

Americans each year make more than 240 million calls to 911. Each of those calls represents a person in need of help, and they’re often the most tense, personal calls one can make. No matter where you live, that call is handled by dedicated professionals who staff, maintain, and manage our nation’s 911 centers and systems.

In 2019, NTIA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded over $109 million to 33 states, the District of Columbia and two tribal nations for projects designed to modernize the current systems and move our nation closer to Next Generation 911 (NG911). When fully implemented, NG911 will allow telecommunicators to keep pace with the advanced technology that is already used by the public they serve.

NTIA applauds all those public safety telecommunicators who dedicate themselves to helping others. NTIA is a champion of the public safety community and applauds all of the public safety telecommunicators who dedicate themselves to saving lives each day.

NTIA Adds Key Broadband Leaders to its Growing Team

April 01, 2022 by NTIA

NTIA is continuing to build out its senior leadership team as we prepare to launch the grant programs in the Broadband Infrastructure Law. The law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, includes a significant investment of $65 billion to help close the digital divide and ensure that all Americans have access to reliable, high speed, and affordable broadband.

Herb Tyson is joining NTIA as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Herb will build a team to support NTIA’s extensive engagement with state and local governments around our broadband programs. Tyson has had a lengthy, respected career engaged in federal, state, local and international public policy, including previous service as a Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the State Department.

Evan Feinman has been named Deputy Associate Administrator for Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD). Feinman will lead the $42.45 billion BEAD Program. Previously, Feinman was Chief Broadband Advisor to Governor Northam, and in that role, developed and funded projects that put the state on track to be the first large state with universal broadband infrastructure. He also served as Executive Director of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and as Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth.

NTIA’s Engineering Lab Seeks Input for ISART 2022

February 14, 2022 by NTIA

NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) is seeking input for the 2022 International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies (ISART) tentatively planned for the week of June 13, 2022.  ISART is a science and engineering discussion-based conference that brings together government, industry, and academic leaders (both domestic and international). Its purpose is to forecast the development and application of advanced radio technologies and the application of careful engineering and research on radio technologies within the context of spectrum management, policy, and regulation. Our goal for ISART 2022 is to chart a roadmap and gain consensus for data-, science-, and technology-driven means to evolve and expedite spectrum sharing analyses and decision-making.

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