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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


Notice of 11/17/2017 CSMAC Open Meeting

October 24, 2017

A public meeting of the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee will be held on November 17, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST)  at the Verizon Technology and Policy Center, 1300 I St NW., Suite 500 East, Washington, DC 20005. Public comments may be mailed to Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4600, Washington, DC 20230 or emailed to dreed@ntia.doc.gov. For further information contact David J.

How NTIA Ensures Responders Can Communicate During Hurricane Recovery Efforts

October 11, 2017

United States Coast Guard helicopter
Source: United States Coast Guard

The devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria over the past few weeks triggered a massive response from emergency responders. Thousands of federal personnel have been deployed to the Gulf Coast, Florida, and the Caribbean, including National Guard troops, the Coast Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency staff, mounting search-and-rescue missions and delivering emergency supplies of food and fresh water.

NTIA’s role in these efforts is ensuring that these responders can communicate with each other and with the various state and local agencies on the ground. After Hurricane Harvey, NTIA’s Scott Jackson and Ron Snider flew to Camp Mabry, Texas, where the Texas Department of Public Safety had set up a command post for its Communications Coordination Group. Jackson heads the Emergency Response Team for NTIA’s Office of Spectrum Management (OSM), and Snider is a telecommunications specialist in OSM and also a member of the Emergency Response Team.

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