NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION



REPORT COVER PICTURE

ANNUAL REPORT
1994

  • ABOUT NTIA
  • NATIONAL INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE INITIATIVE
  • DOMESTIC POLICY INITIATIVES
  • INCREASED COMPETITION AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION
  • UNIVERSAL SERVICE
  • MINORITY TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
  • INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY
  • NTIA GRANT PROGRAM
  • SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT
  • INSTITUTE FOR TELECOMMUNICATION SCIENCES


  • ABOUT NTIA

    GRAPHS
  • ORGANIZATIONAL CHART91k
  • NTIA FY 1995 APPROPRIATIONS-PIE CHART39k
  • NTIA FY 94 VS. NTIA FY 1995 APPROPRIATIONS-BAR GRAPH 68k

    The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a unit of the United States Department of Commerce, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with a satellite office in Annapolis, Maryland and a telecommunications laboratory facility in Boulder, Colorado. (Organization Chart) In Fiscal Year 1994, NTIA had a permanent staff of approximately 250 and an appropriation of $70,927,000. Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1995 total $125,500,000.

    NTIA administers a number of specific programs related to these duties, including:

    NATIONAL INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE INITIATIVE

    NII LOGO NTIA has acted as a principal policy adviser and provided administrative support to the President, Vice President, and Secretary Brown on the planning and implementation of the Administration's National Information Infrastructure (NII) initiative. The White House established the intergovernmental Information Infrastructure Task Force (IITF), chaired by Secretary Brown, to articulate and implement the Administration's vision for the NII and to help build consensus within the Federal government on policy issues.

    Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Larry Irving chairs the Telecommunications Policy Committee of the IITF, which includes three working groups on Universal Service; International Telecommunications Policy; and Network Reliability and Vulnerability. Assistant Secretary Irving also chairs the Administration's Legislative Drafting Task Force, which is considering comprehensive telecommunications reform legislation.

    As part of ongoing NII activities, NTIA and the Telecommunications Policy Committee began a number of outreach efforts to start an ongoing dialogue with private industry, academia, labor, public interest groups, and state and local governments. In its consideration of domestic and international issues, for example, the Telecommunications Policy Committee has hosted presentations by the broadcasting, cable, computer, and wireless industries as well as labor and minority representatives. Other outreach efforts include:

    NTIA coordinated the preparation of a report on these and other IITF NII-related activities entitled National Information Infrastructure Progress Report, September 1993-1994.

    NTIA also provides secretariat functions for the IITF and for the NII Advisory Council, a group of 37 private and public sector representatives appointed by Secretary Brown to advise the Administration on NII-related issues and efforts. The IITF secretariat publishes monthly reports on IITF activities and NTIA drafts public minutes of NII Advisory Council meetings. To expand electronic access to public information, NTIA established an electronic bulletin board system (bbs at 202-482-1199) and a gopher/World-Wide Web (WWW) server (ntiabbs.ntia.doc.gov). Similarly, NTIA established and operates a BBS (202-501-1920) for the IITF and an IITF ftp/telnet/gopher/WWW server at iitf.doc.gov.

    The NII Advisory Council -- co-chaired by Delano E. Lewis, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Public Radio, and Edward R. McCracken, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Silicon Graphics, Inc. -- met seven times in 1994. The Advisory Council has established three Mega-Projects on Vision and Applications, Universal Access, and Privacy, Security and Intellectual Property. The Mega-Projects have drafted principles for public comments in each of these areas and,based on those principles, the Council will prepare consensus advice and recommendations for the Secretary of Commerce. NTIA provides extensive staff support for the activities of the Advisory Council.

    DOMESTIC POLICY INITIATIVES

    LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

    Assistant Secretary Irving chaired an interagency Legislative Drafting Task Force that met regularly to develop telecommunications legislative reform initiatives to support the NII. The Administration had several overarching goals for this effort:

    NTIA staff provided policy analysis and logistical support for this activity. While comprehensive telecommunications legislation did not pass the 103rd Congress, activity has resumed on this front in the 104th Congress.

    INCREASED COMPETITION AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION

    NTIA successfully advocated domestic policies to increase competition and technological innovation. For example, NTIA filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking to promote efficient deployment of new wireless forms of communications known as Personal Communications Services (PCS) and to implement competitive bidding for PCS licenses. In auctions conducted in 1994, the FCC received bids totalling approximately $3 billion. In addition, NTIA urged the FCC to ensure that its auction rules create opportunities for designated entities, such as women and minorities, who historically have not had a full and fair chance to participate in telecommunications markets. The FCC subsequently adopted such rules.

    UNIVERSAL SERVICE

    NTIA issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on universal service and open access issues in September 1994. To date, more than 97 parties have filed comments in response to the NOI. These comments will be used in the further development of Administration policies on universal service and open access. As noted above, NTIA also has held five public hearings around the country and an electronic virtual conference, which attracted participants from around the world, on these issues.

    MINORITY TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

    NTIA's Minority Telecommunications Development Program (MTDP) continued its efforts to encourage and increase minority ownership of telecommunications businesses. In addition to compiling annual statistics and a list of minority-owned radio and television stations in the United States, NTIA administered a communications management training program for new minority broadcast owners (COMTRAIN), participated in several national and regional conferences on business opportunities and financing in new telecommunications technologies, and supervised an ongoing contractor study on access to capital for minority participants in communications industries, known as TELECAP.

    INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS POLICY

    GRAPH OF THE STANDARDS PROGRAM GOALS AND RESULTS 83k INTERAGENCY POLICY GROUP

    NTIA established and continues to chair an interagency group to formulate an Administration policy to address U.S. companies' access to foreign telecommunications markets.

    HOSOKA CONFERENCE PHOTO 246k G-7 CONFERENCE ON THE INFORMATION SOCIETY

    NTIA convened a public meeting in November to discuss U.S. government goals and technology demonstration for the G-7 ministerial level conference on the Information Society scheduled for February 25-26, 1995, in Brussels. The Information Society Conference will include ministerial level discussions on: (1) regulatory and competitive frameworks, (2) the development of the infrastructure and access to it; and, (3) essential applications as well as the social, societal, and cultural aspects of the information society.

    INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE ORGANIZATIONS

    NTIA provided policy guidance related to the potential restructuring of the treaty-based international satellite organizations (ISOs) -- Intelsat and Inmarsat. The Executive branch outlined its broad policy objectives for restructured ISOs during 1994 and, through a White House-chaired interagency committee, will address options for implementation of those objectives.

    Similarly, NTIA provided legal and policy guidance for Executive branch considerations of Inmarsat's desire to expand its activities from mobile maritime and aeronautical to include a global, handheld telephone system -- Inmarsat "P." In this instance, NTIA formulated and advocated a regime of structural separation between the ISO and its proposed commercial affiliate.

    This structural separation enables Inmarsat to enter new markets but creates a level playing field for other competitive global ventures.

    ITU WORLD TELECOMMUNICATION DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE

    NTIA played an integral part in preparing for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Telecommunication Development Conference held in March 1994 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Vice President Gore introduced the U.S. vision for the Global Information Infrastructure (GII) initiative, encouraging the 132 countries and 31 organizations to foster private sector investment, promote competition, create flexible regulatory policies, ensure universal service, and provide open access to the network for all information providers and users.

    ITU'S PLENIPOTENTIARY CONFERENCE

    NTIA served as a Vice Chairman at the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference in Kyoto, Japan in October 1994. The Plenipotentiary reviewed the treaty governing its functions and future direction of the organization.

    JAPANESE BILATERALS

    NTIA chaired bilateral discussions with Japan in a policy roundtable covering issues related to the GII and preliminary issues related to the G-7 meeting. The discussions were held in November in Washington, D.C.

    NTIA GRANT PROGRAMS

    A COMPUTER - YOU AREN'T MISSING MUCH TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

    The Administration established a new program to promote the effective use of a modern, interactive National Information Infrastructure (NII) by the public and non-profit sectors at the state and local level. NTIA's Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) provides matching grants to state and local governments, health care providers, school districts, libraries, universities, community organizations, public safety services, and other non-profit entities to help them access and use new telecommunications technologies. Grants are awarded after a competitive merit review process.

    Improved access to information, made possible by an advanced NII, will increase productivity, create new jobs, help educate our children, and provide better medical care to all Americans, in addition to bringing the benefits of the Information Age to the traditionally unserved and underserved, including the poor, minorities, rural Americans, and disabled individuals.

    TIIAP's 1994 award round received over 1,070 applications from 50 states, the District of Columbia and several territories; requests totalled more than $560 million. The TIIAP grants awarded a total of $24.4 million to 92 projects in 45 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Grantees were announced on October 12, 1994 by Secretary of Commerce Ronald H. Brown. NTIA will conduct the second round of the TIIAP program in 1995. The total FY 1995 appropriation for TIIAP and related activities is $64 million.

      
                       FY 1994 TIIAP Awards by Category  
      
    Category                   Number       Total  
      
    Community Information         27        $7,377,504  
    Health                        14        $4,611,446  
    Government                    15        $3,316,947  
    Education (K-12)              14        $2,764,198  
    Education (Higher)             7        $2,384,951  
    Libraries                      5        $1,851,840  
    Social Services                2        $  878,493  
    Public Information             4        $  594,850  
    Arts & Culture                 2        $  268,023  
    Science                        1        $  200,000  
    Public Safety                  1        $  114,676  
      
    Totals                        92        $24,362,928  
      
    

    PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES GRANTS PROGRAM

    NTIA's Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) issued grants totalling $21.2 million to 140 recipients in 42 states, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas and the District of Columbia. The grants will enable public broadcasting organizations, as well as many nonbroadcast operations, to buy equipment to activate new services, extend the range of present services, and improve existing facilities.

    FY 1994 PTFP awards will bring a first public radio signal to over 1.5 million listeners and a first public television signal to approximately 1.4 million viewers. Other funded projects will support the maintenance and improvement of the public broadcasting infrastructure and the extension of distance learning services.

    The PTFP also continued its assistance to two major distance learning planning studies through cooperative agreements. The two recipients are the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The AIHEC project is now in its third year of planning.

    The first two years of the AIHEC effort resulted in recommendations on interconnecting the member-schools to each other and to the numerous sources of distance learning programming now available via satellite-delivery systems. The study with CCSSO has involved the input of federal policy and regulatory agencies, educators, telecommunications programming providers, and telecommunications service delivery providers to determine how best to coordinate the use of telecommunications facilities for the cost-efficient delivery of distant learning programming nationwide. Both studies will continue with activities into FY 1995.

    NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR CHILDREN'S EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION

    The National Endowment for Children's Educational Television (NECET) conducted its second grant round and issued $1 million in awards to ten organizations in five states. NECET was established by the Children's Television Act of 1990 to enhance the education of our nation's children through the creation and production of television programming specifically directed toward the development of fundamental intellectual skills. FY 1994 NECET funding will be used toward the production of series, individual programs and pilot programs, as well as for various pre-production activities.

    NECET is administered by the Secretary of Commerce, who has delegated this responsibility to the Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information. A ten-member Advisory Council on Children's Educational Television provides advice on matters related to the administration of NECET.

    For the first two years following production, NECET-funded programming may only be offered to public television stations. Thereafter, it can be made available to commercial television networks and stations and to cable television networks and systems as long as the programming is not interrupted by commercial advertising messages.

    PAN-PACIFIC EDUCATIONAL AND COMMUNICATIONS EXPERIMENTS BY SATELLITE PROGRAM

    The Pan-Pacific Educational and Communications Experiments by Satellite Program (PEACESAT) provides a satellite telecommunications network for exchanging social, environmental, health, and educational information among 21 countries within the Pacific Basin. NTIA continued to support PEACESAT activities at the University of Hawaii, which operates the network, including the improvement of digital communications infrastructure to increase PEACESAT's data programming capability. Additional low- cost user earth terminals continue to be installed in Pacific Island nations with non-Federal funds, the most recent being three terminals planned for the newly independent nation of Tokelau.

    NTIA secured the use of the GOES-2 satellite from NOAA to ensure continuation of PEACESAT services after the GOES-3 satellite, used by PEACESAT since 1990, became unavailable because of limited station-keeping fuel. NTIA also supported the design and test of digital earth terminals which could bring increased voice, data and compressed video services to the islands of the Pacific. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of the Interior reached agreement to utilize PEACESAT as the backbone for an emergency management system in the U.S. Pacific, and PEACESAT terminals will be installed in six countries and territories during 1995.

    SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES

    AN NTIA TRUCK IN ACTION 150k SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT

    To fulfill the Federal Government's spectrum management needs, NTIA's Office of Spectrum Management maintains the Government Master File of authorized frequency assignments. There are approximately 320,000 assignments at present. NTIA processed about 135,000 frequency assignment requests in 1994. In addition, NTIA certified 86 major new radiocommunication systems valued at approximately $5.2 billion. These systems will enable the Federal government to continue to provide essential services to the public such as air traffic control, law enforcement, national defense, and resources management.

    NTIA's Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) and its subcommittees and ad hoc groups have conducted approximately 125 meetings and addressed over 3,000 documents containing various Federal, non-Federal, and international spectrum management, policy, and planning issues and problems.

    U.S. SPECTRUM REQUIREMENTS: PROJECTIONS and TRENDS REPORT

    NTIA completed a report describing a 10-year projection of spectrum requirements needed to support evolving radiocommunications requirements in the United States based on private sector and government comments, other NTIA studies and available literature. Of the 18 radio services addressed, half had requirements that could be met within existing allocated spectrum; the other half (largely mobile services) could not. The report fulfills part of the direction received from Congress in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.

    AUTOMATED FEDERAL SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (AFSMS)

    NTIA completed approximately 80% of the first phase of the design, test, and implementation of an AFSMS to replace the aging, time-consuming, and costly process now in use. NTIA's Office of Spectrum Management (OSM) in coordination with DOD's Joint Spectrum Center (JSC) has partially completed the research and development of the AFSMS desktop initial operating capability (IOC) to operate on a desktop personal computer. The initial prototype IOC implementation is planned to be fielded in FY 1995.

    SPECTRUM REALLOCATION REPORT

    The Preliminary Spectrum Reallocation Report was released on February 10, 1994. This report, prepared in response to Title VI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, identified 200 MHz of radio spectrum for transfer from Federal Government use to private, commercial use. Comments were received from the FCC, Federal agencies and the public. A final report has been drafted and is being coordinated within the Federal government. It will be sent from the Secretary of Commerce to the President and Congress in February 1995.

    RUSSIAN SATELLITE (GLONASS) INTERFERENCE

    NTIA, working with the DOD, and Russian representatives have successfully completed the coordination process to alleviate interference from the Russian GLONASS Radionavigation satellite system to the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS). This agreement will also greatly improve the compatibility between the GLONASS system and the proposed Big LEO Mobile Satellite Service, and Radioastronomy Service that operate in nearby frequency bands.

    MOBILE SATELLITE SERVICE (MSS) SYSTEMS

    NTIA, working with a number of affected government agencies, successfully completed coordination of the first Low Earth Orbit MSS system. The ORBCOMM system will share frequencies with government systems at 137 and 148 MHz. The FCC has now licensed ORBCOMM and the first satellites will be launched in early 1995.

    TRAINEE GROUP PHOTO 116k SPECTRUM MANAGEMENT WORKSHOPS

    The 12th year of U.S. Telecommunications Training Institute training produced a two-week course for 21 individuals from 16 developing nations. The nations represented included Russia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Albania, Lithuania, and Romania from the former USSR; and developing nations from other regions of the world included Colombia, Turkey, and Macau. NTIA co-hosted the training with Motorola and Comsearch. NTIA has now trained over 300 senior staff from over 100 countries in spectrum management.

    ASSISTANCE TO CHINA

    NTIA developed a Task Plan to assist the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) of the People's Republic of China to establish a civil emergency telecommunications systems in the event of natural disasters and to continue spectrum management tasks to improve the efficient use of radio spectrum in China. These tasks would be conducted under a protocol signed by the Secretary of Commerce in 1988 and renewed in 1992 between NTIA and the MPT.

    EMERGENCY READINESS PLAN

    NTIA completed its Emergency Readiness Plan (ERP). This plan will be the basis for NTIA and the Federal government to exercise spectrum responsibilities during all types of emergency scenarios.

    OPENNESS PROGRAM

    The "Openness Program," initiated in June 1991, is designed to facilitate the timely and efficient exchange of information between Federal Government agencies and the public on a wide variety of subjects related to communications and information issues. The Openness Program staff receives about 150 requests for information per month. Since February 11, 1994, when a revised computer bulletin board became operational, about 6,800 people have used the bulletin board more than 16,100 times to obtain a wide variety of information. Plans have been developed for replacing the bulletin board with a set of more modern Internet servers (gopher, ftp, world-wide web) that will permit users more flexibility in obtaining information from NTIA.

    INSTITUTE FOR TELECOMMUNICATION SCIENCES

    SATELLITE DIAGRAM 158k The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), the primary Federal telecommunications research laboratory, conducted research on advanced networking standards, including Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN), Personal Communication Services (PCS), broadband radio propagation modeling and analysis, and Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems (IVHS), and on user performance standards for objective audio and video quality assessment.

    NTIA MEMBERS AT A WORLD CONFERENCE 85k INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

    ITS led the U.S. Delegation to the International Telecommunication Union--Telecommunications Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Study Group 13 meeting (General Network Aspects) in Geneva. U.S. recommendations approved at this meeting included contributions on Broadband ISDN, networking capabilities and interworking, and quality-of-service performance issues. Resolving these technical telecommunications standards issues will be highly relevant to the management and effective utilization of networks that will be employed in the National Information Infrastructure (NII) and Global Information Infrastructure (GII).

    COOPERATIVE RESEARCH

    ITS pursued cooperative research with private companies under the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 to continue its efforts aimed at assisting U.S. industry in emerging telecommunications technologies. For example, ITS entered into Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) with U S WEST to: (1) complete measurements and analysis to characterize wideband propagation for PCS applications at six different cellular transmitting sites in the Bellevue, Washington area, and (2) make measurements to characterize wideband propagation in a newly developed U S WEST PCS outdoor testbed. This testbed has been established to test the application of PCS air interface standards. ITS also has entered into a CRADA with Motorola to assist with impulse response measurements and to provide data processing and analysis for existing radio sites in outdoor urban environments in Hong Kong to characterize radio frequency propagation for PCS usage. Finally, ITS worked with General Electric (GE) to study the emission characteristics of a newly- developed GE radio-frequency (RF) driven lighting device. Results of this work will facilitate GE's efforts in acquiring FCC approval for GE to manufacture and market this new lighting device in the U.S. and internationally.

    TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

    Five ITS staff members were awarded the Federal Laboratory Consortium's 1994 Award of Merit for Excellence in Technology Transfer for the development, proof-of-concept evaluation, implementation, and publication of a family of HF radio Federal standards. (FED-STD-1045, HF Radio Automatic Link Establishment; pFED-STD-1046, HF Radio Automatic Networking; pFED-STD-1049, Section 1, HF Radio Linking Protection; and pFED-STD-1052, HF Radio Modems.)

    COMMENTS

    NTIA welcomes comments on its activities and programs. To offer suggestions or obtain further information, please contact Sarah Maloney or Charles Franz at 202-482-1835 or send email to smaloney@ntia.doc.gov or cfranz@ntia.doc.gov or nii@ntia.doc.gov.

    Copies of documents cited in this report are for sale by the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA (703) 487-4650.