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NTIA Employees Win Top Departmental Awards

September 30, 2015 by Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling

Please join me in recognizing the NTIA employees who at a special ceremony this week received Department of Commerce Gold and Silver awards for their outstanding contributions.

Here are the NTIA honorees:

Gold medal award winners:

Frank Sanders, Robert Achatz, John Carroll, Michael Cotton, Roger Drake, Geoffrey Sanders (Institute for Telecommunication Science (ITS)) and Robert Sole (Office of Spectrum Management (OSM)) -  This group is recognized for conducting and publishing a major electromagnetic compatibility study that advanced the Department’s efforts to make additional spectrum available for wireless commercial broadband services. The results were used to develop new rules enabling new spectrum sharing in the 3.5 GHz band between federal agencies that already use the band and commercial entities that intend to deploy new systems in the band.

Silver medal award winners:

Edward Drocella, James Richards and Frederick Najmy (OSM), and Paul McKenna (ITS) -  This group is recognized for outstanding leadership in developing and implementing innovative techniques to enable new spectrum sharing opportunities between Federal and commercial users. The group led a joint NTIA, Department of Defense and Federal Communications Commission working group that spearheaded innovative collaboration methods to develop a specialized analysis model, enabling commercial access to 100 megahertz of Federal spectrum. This effort directly supported the President's goal of identifying 500 megahertz for wireless broadband services.

Gary Patrick and Wanda Covington-Ragdale (OSM), and Charles Franz, Soma Chary, Eric Ruth, Xiaoguang Zhao, William Severe and Yun Chen Lee (Office of Policy Coordination and Management) - This group is recognized for outstanding leadership and management in ensuring the accuracy, transparency and availability of Federal agency spectrum relocation information to support the Advanced Wireless Service - 3 (AWS-3) auction. The group spearheaded a complex multi-agency review and publishing process of agency transition information, which enabled the repurposing of 40 megahertz of Federal spectrum for third and fourth generation wireless broadband for consumers. The results led to a successful auction conclusion of $45 billion in gross proceeds to fund U.S. priority efforts.

John Quinlan, Jeffrey Moon and Matthias Schiller (First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)) - This group is recognized for exceptional effort and expertise in developing a detailed, flexible and transparent model of FirstNet’s financial condition and sustainability under alternative policy and technical scenarios.  To address fundamental questions about FirstNet’s business model and sustainability, the team developed a data-based model of revenues and costs under alternative technology deployment paths and state policies regarding opting into the network.  The model has provided assurance of the soundness of FirstNet leadership’s strategic roadmap for a public safety broadband network.

Robert Johnk, Jaydee Griffith and Mitchell Powell (ITS) - This team is recognized for developing and using an innovative approach to measure building-penetration characteristics of radio signals, for inventing and implementing a compact, radio signal measurement system, and for developing an efficient and effective methodology for determining optimal configurations and designs for in-building communication systems for use by first responders. This work has enhanced the safety and effectiveness of America’s first responders when they are working inside buildings.

I congratulate these fine public servants for their outstanding achievements. While the Department has singled out these contributions for special mention, I hope everyone takes pride in the work you do every day at NTIA. You are working hard on many projects critical to the American people, including ensuring that the Internet remains an engine for economic growth and innovation; promoting broadband access and adoption so that no one is left behind in the digital revolution; supporting the communications needs of our first responders; and furthering the public interest through stewardship of our spectrum resources.