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Spectrum Management

Many Federal agencies use radio frequency spectrum to perform vital operations. NTIA manages the Federal government's use of spectrum, ensuring that America's domestic and international spectrum needs are met while making efficient use of this limited resource. NTIA carries out this responsibility with assistance and advice from the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee and by:

  • establishing and issuing policy regarding allocations and regulations governing the Federal spectrum use;
  • developing plans for the peacetime and wartime use of the spectrum;
  • preparing for, participating in, and implementing the results of international radio conferences;
  • assigning frequencies;
  • maintaining spectrum use databases;
  • reviewing Federal agencies' new telecommunications systems and certifying that spectrum will be available;
  • providing the technical engineering expertise needed to perform specific spectrum resources assessments and automated computer capabilities needed to carry out these investigations;
  • participating in all aspects of the Federal government's communications related emergency readiness activities; and
  • participating in Federal government telecommunications and automated information systems security activities.

Related content


NTIA’s 2021 Spectrum Policy Symposium Showcases Cooperation Among Key Decision-Makers

October 4, 2021

NTIA’s 2021 Spectrum Policy Symposium brought together key policymakers and industry experts to explore how a “whole of government” approach to spectrum policy can address U.S. priorities for 21st century global leadership. 

The event featured as keynote speakers U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mike F. Doyle Jr. (D-Pa.), and Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. Each of them highlighted the importance of spectrum to the economy, U.S. technological leadership, innovation, and federal government missions.

In addition, the event’s afternoon sessions featured a preview of the 2022 International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies (ISART), which NTIA’s Boulder, Colorado-based Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) plans to convene in the spring of next year. During the preview, ITS issued a call for papers to further the development of spectrum-sharing assessments through analyses driven by data, science and technology.

Throughout the keynotes and the accompanying panel discussions, policymakers and experts underlined the key themes of cooperation, technological innovation, and engineering-driven spectrum management solutions to spur America’s economic and infrastructure growth.     

Plan to Modernize and Automate the Infrastructure of NTIA Related to Managing Federal Spectrum Use

September 24, 2021

Section 9203 of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA 21) calls for the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information to submit a report to Congress containing a plan for the modernization and automation of the NTIA infrastructure relating to managing federal spectrum use by covered agencies, to more efficiently manage such use.  This provides the modernization plan and addresses the topics called out in the NDAA 21.

NTIA to Host Virtual Spectrum Policy Symposium, ISART Preview on Sept. 21

August 17, 2021

NTIA invites all interested parties to the 2021 NTIA Spectrum Policy Symposium, NTIA’s fourth annual spectrum event, on Sept. 21. This year’s symposium, under the theme “Modernizing U.S. Spectrum Strategy and Infrastructure,” will tackle the leading policy and technical issues that will drive spectrum use for years to come.

Key leaders from the Biden Administration, Congress, federal agencies, and the private and non-public sectors have been invited to share their views on spectrum policy priorities, efforts to repurpose spectrum for 5G and other innovative uses, the modernization of spectrum management systems, and more.  Spectrum strategies will be a key component of the Biden Administration’s efforts to close the digital divide and ensure American competitiveness in a high-tech future. Frequency allocations and spectrum sharing help pave the way for next-generation wireless broadband networks, machine-to-machine communications, intelligent transportation applications and other advanced technologies.

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