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NTIA Releases Minimum Elements for a Software Bill of Materials

July 12, 2021 by Allan Friedman, Director of Cybersecurity Initiatives

In his Executive Order (EO) on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, President Biden identified the prevention, detection, assessment and remediation of cyber incidents as a top priority of his Administration. The Commerce Department and NTIA were directed by the EO to publish the minimum elements for a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM), a key tool to help create a more transparent and secure software supply chain. As the President notes, “the trust we place in our digital infrastructure should be proportional to how trustworthy and transparent that infrastructure is.”

An SBOM provides those who produce, purchase, and operate software with information that enhances their understanding of the supply chain. Though an SBOM won’t solve all software security problems, it offers the potential to track known newly emerged vulnerabilities and risks, and it can form a foundational data layer on which further security tools, practices, and assurances can be built.

NTIA Releases Comprehensive Review of U.S. Space-based Operations and Spectrum Use

July 09, 2021 by Charles Cooper, Associate Administrator, Office of Spectrum Management

Every day, Americans depend on space-based technologies, which power navigation services, accurate weather forecasts, rural Internet access, public safety communications, national security objectives, and more. All of these technologies depend on a key public resource – radiofrequency spectrum – both for controlling space operations and for relaying communications and data to and from Earth.

Today, NTIA released a first-of-its-kind report documenting the wide array of current and projected spectrum uses by space-based systems. The report, titled “The Spectrum Needs of U.S.-Based Space Operations,” will help inform policymakers and others regarding the key roles these systems perform.

The report highlights the economic, social and life-saving benefits of the communications, remote sensing, radio astronomy, and position, navigation, and timing services that these systems provide. A recent review by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis found the U.S. space economy added $108.9 billion in value to the current-dollar GDP.

President’s Budget Calls for Investments in Broadband, Securing Supply Chains, and Wireless Research

June 01, 2021 by NTIA

At NTIA and the Department of Commerce, we are focused on expanding the use of broadband and spectrum, strengthening the nation’s cybersecurity defenses, improving public safety communications, and helping American workers and businesses compete in the 21st century.

President Biden’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year, released on Friday, is designed to support these goals. The President’s budget calls for increased investments to better secure the telecommunications supply chain, expand high-speed broadband access and adoption, and increase advanced wireless research to power future generations of technology.

The overall FY 2022 budget request for NTIA is $89.5 million, which covers 189 positions.

Securing the Supply Chain

The President’s budget asks for a total of $15.6 million for NTIA’s domestic and international policy programs, which work to preserve a free and open Internet that can serve as an engine for economic growth.

The request includes an additional $4 million to allow NTIA to contribute to securing the information and communications technology and services (ICTS) supply chain. The ICTS supply chain, which is relied on by U.S. businesses and government at all levels, is critical to every aspect of America's national and economic security.

NTIA Seeks Feedback on Draft Questionnaire for Next Internet Use Survey

May 26, 2021 by Rafi Goldberg, Policy Analyst, Office of Policy Analysis and Development

For more than a quarter-century, NTIA’s Internet Use Survey has provided the public with information about the digital divide and how Americans’ use of computers and the Internet has grown and changed over time.

Since 1994, NTIA has partnered with the Census Bureau 15 times to field this vital data collection to inform policymakers and enable important research. Our most recent survey went out in November 2019, and we’re pleased to be working with the Census Bureau again to conduct the next NTIA Internet Use Survey in November 2021. This will be a great opportunity to understand how computer and Internet use in America changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to create better informed solutions that improve the state of digital equity in America, NTIA is always looking for ways to improve the questions asked in our survey. As technologies and our understanding of policy challenges evolve, we try to keep our survey evolving as well, while also preserving the ability to track changes over time.

Today, we are soliciting public comment on our draft questionnaire. Feedback on this draft will build on the comments we received last summer, when NTIA, for the first time ever, published a Request for Comments asking researchers, advocates, and other interested members of the public to tell us how to improve the NTIA Internet Use Survey.

National Broadband Availability Map Now Has 36 State Participants

May 17, 2021 by NTIA

NTIA’s National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM) recently added Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, and South Dakota to its growing roster of state participants. To date, the NBAM includes 36 states and four federal agencies: US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

The NBAM is a geographic information system platform which allows for the visualization and analysis of federal, state, and commercially available data sets. This includes data from the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Census Bureau, Universal Service Administrative Company, USDA, Ookla, Measurement Lab, BroadbandNow, White Star, and the state governments. The mapping platform provides users, including administrators from the 36 participating states, with access to the NBAM and its data to better inform broadband projects and funding decisions in their states.

ITS, Air Force Conduct Flight Tests as Part of Mid-Band Sharing Experiment

May 10, 2021 by NTIA

As consumer, industry, and government demand for 5G services and applications heats up, NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) is focused on finding ways to make the most efficient use of scarce spectrum resources. Many commercial providers have their eyes on so-called mid-band spectrum because it offers them the best combination of coverage, speed, and latency.  However, many U.S. government departments and agencies, including the Department of Defense (DoD), operate radar and communications platforms important to the nation’s national security and defense in those bands. A few week ago, the skies over Colorado played host to ITS experiments that will contribute to developing solutions to enable dynamic spectrum sharing between commercial and government users. 

Over the course of two hours, a U.S. Air Force high-power radar plane, operating in the 3 GHz spectrum band, repeatedly flew past the Table Mountain Radio Quiet Zone Advanced Communications Test site near Boulder. On the ground, ITS researchers collected data that will begin to shed light on how 5G cellular services might dynamically share spectrum with DoD radar systems. The high-power radar platform provides long range air surveillance; understanding how these system might interact with thousands of terrestrial 5G receivers and transmitters on the ground is essential to the long term viability of 5G networks.  While the flight crew operated the radar system in a variety of modes, ITS engineers measured the radar signals reaching the ground.

NTIA Honors the Telecommunicators that Power America’s 911 System

April 13, 2021 by NTIA

Every day, across our country, Americans facing emergencies contact 911 with the expectation that their call will be heard and someone will be dispatched quickly to render aid. The professional public safety telecommunicators that keep our 911 system running are the lifeline between the public and our first responders. 

This week, April 11 to 17, is recognized as National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, and NTIA is proud to honor and thank the thousands of telecommunicators across the nation who answer the call of service to help their fellow Americans when they are most in need.

Public safety telecommunicators field more than 240 million calls each year, streamlining emergency responses and serving as a calming voice as they ensure that the day’s crises and challenges are met. This year, we also recognize that emergency call centers have been operating under pandemic-related restrictions, with depleted staff, while continuing to serve the many people affected by COVID-19.

NTIA, FCC Experts Will Support the National Science Foundation’s Spectrum Innovation Initiative

March 01, 2021 by NTIA

Earlier this year, NTIA entered into an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support the NSF’s Spectrum Innovation Initiative. The agreement facilitates expert staff from the FCC and NTIA, including the Office of Spectrum Management and the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, sharing their expertise to help ensure that NSF investments in spectrum research, infrastructure, and workforce development align with U.S. spectrum regulatory and policy objectives, principles, and strategies.

“Spectrum is the backbone of America’s wireless leadership, and we applaud NSF’s investments in spectrum research and development,” said Evelyn Remaley, Acting NTIA Administrator.  “Engaging with spectrum experts from the FCC, NTIA and the NSF on high-impact, cutting-edge research is important to American competitiveness and spectrum sharing.”

NSF launched the Spectrum Innovation Initiative last year to seek research and development improvements in spectrum flexibility and agility, spectrum awareness in near real-time, and secure and autonomous spectrum decision-making that would increase spectrum efficiency and effectiveness.

Championing the Nation’s Spectrum Engineers: NTIA and ITS Celebrate Engineers Week

February 24, 2021 by Dr. Sheryl Genco, ITS Director

Today marks the beginning of Engineers Week, a very special week recognizing NTIA’s critical national resource: Spectrum Engineers. Across our workforce in DC and our Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) lab in Boulder, CO, 62 talented and dedicated engineers propel our vital mission forward. ITS is NTIA’s research and engineering laboratory. The engineers that work at ITS apply their expertise so that the U.S. can realize the full potential of telecom and drive a new era of innovation, development, and productivity. Alongside their colleagues in our Office of Spectrum Management, ITS engineers are at the forefront of spectrum research and help lead America’s race to deploy 5G technologies and beyond.

As an engineer myself, I am honored to be the first female director in ITS’ 100 year history. Engineers Week is a 70 year old tradition to foster participation in engineering careers. I believe deeply in the power that STEM careers and education can have on individuals and society, and we at ITS and NTIA remain committed to help ensure that those opportunities are available to anyone with the drive and talent necessary. Regardless of background, each of our engineers is focused on one mission: ADVANCE innovation in communications technologies, INFORM spectrum and communications policy for the benefit of all stakeholders, and INVESTIGATE our Nation’s most pressing telecommunications challenges through research that employees are proud to deliver.

NTIA’s NBAM Reaches 30 State Milestone

February 24, 2021 by NTIA

Over the last few months, NTIA’s National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM) added Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Montana, New York, Oklahoma and Vermont to its growing roster of state participants. To date, the NBAM includes 30 states and four federal agencies: US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).

The NBAM is a geographic information system platform which allows for the visualization and analysis of federal, state, and commercially available data sets. This includes data from the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Census Bureau, Universal Service Administrative Company, USDA, Ookla, Measurement Lab, and the state governments. The mapping platform provides users, including administrators from the 30 participating states, with access to the NBAM and its data to better inform broadband projects and funding decisions in their states.

With more states joining, the NBAM is another step closer to creating a national platform that can help inform policymakers and expand Internet coverage across the United States.

For questions, please email: nbam@ntia.gov.

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