The FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration signed an updated spectrum coordination agreement. It’s the first time the “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) has been updated in 20 years. The action is key as the federal government prepares to distribute billions of dollars in broadband infrastructure grants and loans.
The agencies say the revised MOU, signed by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson, will strengthen cooperation and collaboration between the government bodies and help advance a whole-of-government approach to how they use and manage one of the nation’s most important resources. The update comes at a critical time in the government’s efforts to expand access to high-speed internet, protect national security, promote economic growth, and advance the progress of science and technology.
“Next-generation spectrum innovation is going to require next-generation spectrum coordination. This updated MOU embraces the idea that no single entity can meet this challenge alone,” said Rosenworcel. “We need a whole of government approach—one that draws on the strengths in our national DNA: our hard-wired belief in the creative possibilities of the future, the power of coordination, and the rule of law. This effort, as part of our broader Spectrum Coordination Initiative, helps make that possible.”
“A spectrum coordination agreement that pre-dates the smartphone is not sufficient to meet the challenges facing our agencies today,” said Davidson. “This updated MOU between NTIA and the FCC will deepen our collaboration and improve our ability to anticipate and mitigate serious spectrum issues.”
The news marks another step in the agencies’ Spectrum Coordination Initiative announced on February 15, Inside Towers reported. The agencies plan to revisit the MOU every four years to ensure that it’s keeping pace with the nation’s spectrum needs.
Competitive Carriers AssociationPresident/CEO Steve Berry called spectrum coordination between the two agencies “essential to ensuring issues are properly addressed before spectrum is designated for commercial use.” He said the updated MOU “is an important step in the right direction and will provide much-needed clarity around the most valuable resource for wireless carriers. I commend the efforts to ensure carriers are able to purchase and use their spectrum as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief