As part of the agency's role managing the Federal government’s spectrum use, NTIA represents the spectrum-related interests of the Executive Branch and Federal agencies, as well as the interests of the United States as a whole, abroad. In doing so, NTIA works closely with the Department of State, the Federal Communication Commission, and other Federal agencies.
Many activities involve the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency responsible for information and communications technologies (ICT). The United States is one of 193 Member States of the ITU.
The ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) is the focal point for developing technical standards for spectrum use. The ITU-R facilitates international collaboration to ensure the rational, equitable, efficient, and economical use of the radio frequency spectrum and satellite orbits. NTIA leads Federal preparations for ITU-R Study Groups to develop technical standards and study issues for World Radiocommunication Conferences (WRC).
Every three to four years, the ITU convenes a WRC to revise the international Radio Regulations, an important international treaty that governs the use of the radio frequency spectrum from the ground and from space, and provides for the allocation of frequency bands to radiocommunication services. The Radio Regulations also set technical and regulatory conditions to promote interference-free operations. NTIA leads Federal preparations for WRCs and advances U.S. positions in regional organizations such as the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL).
Countries register their spectrum use with the ITU to gain international recognition and the right to be protected from harmful interference. NTIA registers satellite networks with the ITU and coordinates with foreign and domestic operators to ensure harmonious use of the radio frequency spectrum. In addition, each year NTIA conducts spectrum-related international outreach and training programs for developing countries and Federal agencies.International Telecommunications Advisory Committee – Radiocommunications (ITAC-R)