National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Fiscal Year 2003 Budget
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is responsible for the development of domestic and international telecommunications and information policy for the Executive Branch, for ensuring the efficient and effective use of the Federal radio spectrum, for performing state-of-the-art telecommunications research, engineering, and planning, and for administering the Federal program that supports telecommunications facilities for public broadcasting. NTIA operates within the structure and context of the following goals.
NTIA Strategic Goals
Promote open markets and encourage competition
The budget request for FY 2003 is $61.4 million, including an increase of $3.3 million for a set of initiatives to improve NTIA's spectrum management and telecommunications research capabilities, a reduction of $15.4 million to reflect the conclusion of the Technology Opportunities Program, and a baseline reduction of $8.3 million to the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program to adjust for the one-time emergency funding in FY 2002 for the New York City public broadcasters who lost equipment at the World Trade Center.
Salaries and Expenses
The Salaries and Expenses budget ($17,547,000) includes funding to maintain ongoing programs for domestic and international policy development, Federal spectrum management and related research. It includes a reduction to the base of $1.5 million to reflect the intermittent, first-year requirements in FY 2002 for upgrading the Radio Spectrum Measurement System van and an increase of $1.7 million for the adjustments necessary to maintain base activities. Included is $3.3 million for initiatives that will advance the development of telecommunications services required by the Nation.
Spectrum management reform ($285 thousand and 1 FTE): NTIA will undertake a collaborative effort with the FCC, State Department, and Federal agency users to overhaul the process for managing the use of radio frequency spectrum to achieve efficient distributions among marketplace, public interest, and government activity and to accommodate the demands of new and emerging technologies. As the President's principal adviser on telecommunications issues and manager of the Federal radio spectrum, NTIA proposes an extensive planning process to examine and recommend the structure for managing spectrum in an environment in which private sector demand is expanding for the third generation of wireless communications, Federal needs for national defense, public safety, and transportation are growing, and the need to coordinate usage with the rest of the world is more important than ever.
Paperless spectrum process ($340 thousand and 1 FTE): To meet increasing demand for Federal wireless communication systems and services, most notably for public safety requirements, within the reduced spectrum resources available, NTIA will incorporate new information processing, technical analysis and communications technologies to establish a paperless system for spectrum issue resolution, certification, satellite coordination, and frequency authorization.
The two initiatives for improving the spectrum management process have been presented to and endorsed by the Interagency Radio Advisory Committee, comprised of the major frequency users in the Federal Government. IRAC members will provide 80 percent ($2.5 million) of the funding for these initiatives through the reimbursement mechanism for this program. In addition, the member agencies will participate in the planning process and provide representatives to support it.
Table Mountain Facility Modernization ($2.7 million and 5 FTE): NTIA's research program will upgrade the Table Mountain Radio Quiet Zone Test Facility located in Colorado and undertake an integrated program for advanced antenna, radio spectrum noise and spectrum occupancy research. The facility supports the research of three Commerce agencies (NTIA, NIST, and NOAA) as well as their work through cooperative research and development agreements with private industry.
Fundamental to the analysis of telecommunications issues and the management of the Federal radio spectrum are the empirical measurements and core research performed at NTIA's Institute for Telecommunication Sciences. This function requires facilities that support the high degree of accuracy and the broad range of information that must be gathered to enable the most efficient use of a scarce resource, the spectrum, by a wide array of applications. NTIA would undertake a project to clean and upgrade the Table Mountain facility and prepare it for use in testing the new advances in antennae technology. This project has garnered the support of other Boulder Lab residents, NIST and NOAA, and the site cleanup project is strongly encouraged by the Department's Inspector General. It is part of an ongoing effort to update the research facilities necessary to support informed spectrum management decisions.
This budget seeks to continue NTIA's program of assisting communities by helping fund the digital equipment needed by local public broadcasting organizations. The Public Telecommunications Facilities, Planning, and Construction program ($43,586,000), in conjunction with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is continuing efforts to convert public broadcasting systems to digital technology in order to meet the FCC mandate for digital broadcasting. As mentioned, this account includes a base adjustment to exclude for FY 2003 the one-time emergency supplemental in FY 2002 of $8.3 million that will support public broadcasters that lost equipment at the World Trade Center.
The Technology Opportunities Program (TOP, $224,000), funded in the Information Infrastructure Grants account, has provided matching funds to state, local and tribal governments and non-profit entities to extend the benefit of information technologies. This program has been successful, but is no longer necessary to stimulate innovation in an industry that thrives on change and new applications. Proposed funding and the carryover and recoveries of prior year funds will be used to close out existing grants over the next few years.
NTIA's plan for assessing performance is organized under three performance goals that call for improved competition and access, the efficient use of the radio spectrum, and the availability of advanced services to the public. Our activities will continue to address impediments to the development of innovative telecommunications services by the private sector. NTIA's spectrum management and research programs will support emerging technologies and uses of spectrum resources for affordable, alternative communications services. Facilitating broadband deployment is a major piece of this agenda. This promising technology has the potential to revolutionize e-commerce, educational opportunities, and health care.
Another challenge for NTIA is to find spectrum that might be made available for next generation commercial mobile services. The budget for FY 2003 includes two initiatives for dramatically improving the overall efficiency of spectrum utilization and NTIA's electronic interface with its customers over the next ten years. Spectrum management reform and a paperless NTIA process have the potential for improving the utilization of spectrum and reducing the process time for assigning radio frequencies from the current 15 days to 3 days.
Summary of Resources
(Dollar amounts in thousands)
Planning & Construction
|FY 2003 base programs||102||$14,222||13||$43,586||24||$15,609||139||$73,417|
|Spectrum Management Reform||1||285||-||-||-||-||1||285|
|Paperless Spectrum Process||1||340||-||-||-||-||1||340|
|Table Mountain Facility Modernization||5||2,700||-||-||-||-||5||2,700|
|Technology Opportunities Program . . . . . . . . . . .||-||-||-||-||(21)||(15,385)||(21)||(15,385)|
|FY 2003 request||109||17,547||13||43,586||3||224||125||61,357|