Public Meetings on Spectrum Management

Date: 
November 18, 2003

COMMERCE DEPARTMENT INVITES SCIENTISTS, EXPERTS AND PUBLIC TO PROVIDE INPUT ON IMPROVING MANAGEMENT OF AIRWAVES

National Academy of Sciences to Team with NTIA in February Public Meeting

The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced a series of public meetings designed to gather information from the private sector and state and local governments about better ways to manage the nation's airwaves. NTIA will host the first meeting on December 9 and will co-sponsor a February meeting with the National Academy of Sciences. NTIA also is planning a third meeting in cooperation with the former Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN), now part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Project SAFECOM.

The public meetings will be the first opportunity for interested parties from outside the federal government to participate in the Bush Administration's initiative to develop a U.S. spectrum policy for the 21st century promoting economic growth, ensuring national and homeland security and fostering new technologies.

"Spectrum policy improvements will boost growth in the tech sector and add U.S. jobs," said Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael D. Gallagher. "These public meetings will serve as the catalyst for the development of new technologies that will enhance the productivity of American workers and enrich the lives of American consumers," said Gallagher. "We are very pleased to join the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of Homeland Security in gathering additional input for the President's Initiative."

The President's spectrum initiative requires the Commerce Department to prepare legislative and other recommendations to (1) facilitate a modernized and improved spectrum management system; (2) create incentives for more efficient and beneficial use of spectrum and to provide a higher degree of predictability and certainty for incumbent users; (3) develop tools to streamline the deployment of new services and technologies, while preserving national security, homeland security, and public safety, and encouraging scientific research; and (4) develop means to address the critical spectrum needs of national security, homeland security, and public safety.

The daylong meeting at the Commerce Department on December 9 will consist of a morning panel on incentives encouraging spectrum efficiency and an afternoon panel on the deployment of new and expanded services and technologies. Participants may include spectrum users, equipment vendors, financial and industry analysts, consumer groups and others. Interested federal government agencies are welcome to attend.

The second in the series, tentatively scheduled for late January or early February, will be developed by NTIA in cooperation and partnership with DHS/SAFECOM, and will focus on state and local public safety issues. Next, a two-day NTIA-sponsored workshop on February 12 and 13, conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, will focus on addressing critical spectrum needs, improving spectrum management, incentives to spur spectrum efficiency, and policies to streamline development of new technologies and expanded services.

Additional public meetings may be held. In addition to the public meetings, NTIA plans to invite the public to submit written comments. The request for comments will be made through the Federal Register. Details regarding panelists, breakout sessions, and meeting locations will be provided in separate Federal Register notices for each event. Updated information on these events will be available on NTIA's Web site at www.ntia.doc.gov.

###