NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONSAND

INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION

ANNUAL REPORT
CY 1999


MISSION AND SCOPE

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): (a) serves through the Secretary of Commerce as the principal adviser to the President on domestic and international communications and information policy-making; (b) promotes affordable access to telecommunications services for all Americans and competition in domestic and international markets; (c) manages all Federal use of the electromagnetic spectrum and generally promotes efficient use of spectrum; (d) in partnership with business and other Federal agencies, conducts telecommunications technology research, including standards-setting; and (e) awards grants through the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program, and the National Information Infrastructure initiative.

NTIA is unique among Federal government agencies in that the work of the agency is focused exclusively on telecommunications and information. The agency's expertise encompasses every aspect of telecommunications, including community networking applications, domestic policy, international policy, spectrum management, and telecommunications research and engineering.

With roughly $73 million available for its activities, NTIA's workforce of approximately 290 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees works to promote the efficient and effective use of telecommunications and information resources in a manner that creates job opportunities, enhances U.S. competitiveness, and raises the standard of living.

The telecommunications and information revolution is bringing dramatic growth and change to the nation's economic, social, and political life. These exciting developments affect every American to some extent because nearly everyone uses telephones, televisions, computers, radio, and related technology. Citizens receive public services and protections that rely upon telecommunications technology. Communication is fundamental to the very organization of society and to life as it is lived today. Affordable access to telecommunications technology is becoming a basic necessity for a successful and productive life in all sectors of our society, including business, academia, industry, banking and government. The rapid growth and critical importance of the telecommunications and information industries will continue for at least the next decade, domestically and internationally.

Within the resources available to the agency, NTIA addresses the highest priority issues in telecommunications and information today, and maximizes the return on those resources by utilizing this expertise throughout its programs. Our analysts bring to their work an appreciation of the complexities of developing national policies, as well as the ability to draw on technical expertise to understand how those policies will facilitate or hinder development, and application expertise to gauge the impact on communities and individuals. This internal synergy is critical to NTIA's credibility and respect in the community; the agency's influence and advocacy record is a direct result of this synergy. NTIA's unique talents as an agency are readily apparent in the current Administration's record of accomplishments on a wide range of telecommunications issues, including universal service, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, global electronic commerce, Internet development, and digital broadcasting.

The Government Performance and Results Act (Public Law 103-62 of August 3, 1993), commonly referred to as GPRA, provided a guideline for NTIA's strategic planning activities in 1999. NTIA's vision, mission and the strategic goals and objectives that follow, guide the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in its unique role against the backdrop of an exciting, demanding, and promising future.

Vision:

NTIA envisions a world where telecommunications
and information technologies are used to protect and
improve the global quality of life.

Mission:

NTIA's mission is to promote the efficient and effective use of telecommunications and information resources in a manner that creates job opportunities, enhances U.S. competitiveness, and raises the standard of living.
 

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 1999 -- 2004

NTIA's goals define the agency's priority efforts. The goals are not listed in any relative priority order. A further discussion of each goal and its objectives is presented below.

GOAL 1: Promote open markets and encourage competition.

GOAL 2: Ensure spectrum provides the greatest benefit to all people.

GOAL 3: Advance the public interest in telecommunications, mass media, and information.

GOAL 4: Promote the availability and sources of advanced telecommunications and information services.


The following is a report on the major activities and accomplishments associated with these goals in Calendar Year 1999.
 

GOAL 1: Promote open markets and encourage competition.

Activities under this goal include opening markets, increasing competitive choices, advocating more competition in the international satellite services market, advancing U.S. policy interests in bilateral, regional, and international fora, and assisting developing countries in strengthening their telecommunications infrastructures.

NTIA develops policies promoting greater competition in telecommunications and information markets. NTIA's policies in this area are necessarily intertwined with another important goal, that of promoting affordable access to services for all Americans. For more than a decade, NTIA has advocated State and Federal action to introduce and expand competition in all telecommunications and information services markets, particularly markets for local telecommunications services. Greater competition will lead to lower prices and more choices for consumers, as well as faster deployment of advanced telecommunications networks and services.

Competition in Telecommunications Markets

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 embodies that same pro-competitive philosophy. The market-opening provisions of the 1996 Act are stimulating the growth of competition for local exchange telecommunications services. For example, more than 140 companies are now providing local service in the 100 largest urban markets, as well as many smaller areas. Competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) have attracted more than $30 billion in capital and currently serve between 2 and 3 percent of all local access lines. Although competitors provide service predominantly via facilities acquired from incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), CLECs are also aggressive in deploying their own switching and transmission equipment. One investment firm has identified the reasons for this proliferation of competition -- "the combination of access to low cost capital coupled with a clear regulatory and public policy initiative toward opening up local markets."

NTIA has been at the forefront of that policy initiative. Rulemaking proceedings at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to implement provisions of the 1996 Act continue to provide a forum for policy debate on these matters. For example, NTIA filed comments in an FCC rulemaking proceeding on local exchange competition. The 1996 Act sought to foster such competition by creating entry opportunities for new service providers. It did so by, among other things, imposing extensive "unbundling" obligations on incumbent local exchange carriers. Specifically, NTIA urged in its comments that the FCC reaffirm its list of seven network elements that ILECs must provide to competitors, upon request, on a nationwide basis: (1) local loops; (2) network interface devices; (3) local switching; (4) interoffice transmission facilities; (5) signaling networks and call-related databases; (6) operations support systems; and (7) operator services and directory services. NTIA agreed with the FCC that those requirements must be limited in scope and in duration. Moreover, NTIA concluded that in markets where the growth of competition has rendered enforcement of unbundling requirements unnecessary and, potentially, counterproductive, the FCC has the authority to forbear from applying the Act's unbundling provisions.

Pro-competitive policies are transforming the telecommunications marketplace into one in which consumers have an expanding choice of traditional telephone service providers as well as new service offerings, such as 900 services, wireless communications, Internet access, and broadband residential services. Consumers sometimes face bills with vague, misleading, confusing and even erroneous or fraudulent items. In a letter filed with the FCC in 1999, NTIA supported the FCC's efforts to ensure that customers know exactly what they are paying for. Consumers, for example, should have sufficient information to know whether their service has been "slammed" (switched without their authorization to a new long distance carrier) or "crammed" (charged for services not ordered or received).

Satellite Home Viewers Act

The Clinton Administration and NTIA have strongly supported the development of robust competition in the multichannel video programming marketplace as the way to bring greater viewing choices, lower prices and better services to consumers. In 1999, NTIA was involved in the legislative process surrounding passage of the Satellite Home Viewers Act, which affected the ability of satellite television subscribers to receive network television programming. NTIA's Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), working in support of policy staff, provided sample data on the number of households that could be affected by the various prediction methods that were under consideration by the FCC in 1999. NTIA filed a letter with the FCC presenting the results of the ITS work. While NTIA took no position on the specific definition that the FCC should adopt, it urged the FCC to adopt a definition and measurement that will best promote competition and consumer choice. Ultimately, at the end of 1999, Congress passed and the President signed legislation that clarified satellite television subscribers' ability to receive certain programming. This legislation will help increase competition between terrestrial cable television and satellite television providers.

Bilateral, Regional and International Fora

NTIA formulates and articulates policy alternatives for Executive Branch position on major international telecommunications and information issues, and promotes U.S. policies to improve the competitiveness of the U.S. telecommunications and information industries in international markets. NTIA continued to advance the adoption of pro-competitive regulatory policies by other countries to facilitate liberalized access to foreign telecommunications and information markets. NTIA actively participated in bilateral consultations with such diverse foreign counterparts as the European Union (EU) Commission, and various EU member countries, during which the Administration's telecommunications and information policies were advocated.

In a continuing effort to assist developing countries with efforts in privatization, liberalization, policy-making, and creation of competitive and open telecommunications markets, NTIA assisted in interagency planning of a joint ITU-WTO seminar focused on these issues. In preparation for the WTO Seattle Ministerial, NTIA participated in several rounds of electronic-commerce negotiations, focusing on developing country issues. NTIA will actively participate in future WTO electronic commerce activities and in the upcoming GATS 2000 negotiations.

Additionally, via its work with other Executive Branch agencies, the FCC, and telecommunications industry, NTIA has promoted competition and liberalization in various International Telecommunication Union (ITU) fora. In particular, NTIA has been very active in promoting the U.S. policies in the development and standardization sectors of the ITU. Furthermore, NTIA has been active in the ITU Reform process currently underway. Following its 1998 ITU Plenipotentiary, the ITU established a committee of participating governments and corporations to explore further options for reform of the ITU. At the core of these deliberations is the issue of finding an appropriate role for corporations within an intergovernmental organization -- or whether the ITU should change its intergovernmental character.

These deliberations present difficult issues for the United States and NTIA, working in coordination with the State Department and other U.S. agencies as well as the corporate community, will attempt to identify solutions which ensure U.S. firms maximum global opportunity while seeking to prohibit any effort to expand the ITU's mandate into a more regulatory role, particularly with respect to the Internet.

During 1999, NTIA continued its longstanding support for reform of the international accounting and settlements system. Working closely with other agencies and U.S. industry, NTIA participated in the ITU Study Group 3 meetings and helped advocate for constructive reform of the outdated accounting rate system.

The ITU's Development Sector focuses on assisting developing and least developed countries. Through the work of its Study Groups, the Development sector is involved in Internet infrastructure deployment initiatives and e-commerce for development activities. NTIA is an active member in these activities of the Development Sector. Recently, NTIA was elected to spearhead work on new technologies for rural and remote infrastructure development. NTIA also is a member of a team focusing on best practices for Internet infrastructure deployment and partnerships with the private sector to facilitate infrastructure deployment.

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

NTIA provided leadership and research to the Telecommunications Working Group (TEL) on several efforts. First was on APEC TEL's activities to promote early adoption of WTO liberalization commitments, fair interconnection regimes, and development of liberalization policy principles. Second was on TEL's efforts under the APEC Blueprint for E-Commerce. NTIA served on consultant review committees to develop a major report on E-Commerce usage among 3,000 small and medium-sized enterprises in the region. One major result was the identification of high telecom infrastructure access and usage costs as a barrier to E-Commerce usage among businesses, and between businesses and consumers. Third, NTIA contributed expertise to the policy battle raging around controversial, potential international Internet charging arrangements (ICAIS) between multinational carriers. NTIA along with an interagency team worked successfully with the ICAIS Task Force to focus group activities on differences between Internet and traditional telecommunications capacity, and the potential harmful effects of charging arrangements on the Internet's development. NTIA will continue to work with the ICAIS Task Force to develop policy recommendations, including support for non-interventionism, to APEC Telecommunications Ministers who meet in May 2000.

CITEL

During 1999, NTIA was an active participant in the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission ("CITEL") Permanent Consultative Committee I ("PCC-I") and in the Permanent Executive Committee of CITEL. NTIA's goals are to lend its policy expertise to promote telecommunications infrastructure buildout. NTIA also works with U.S. companies to promote their ability to provide communications goods and services, and to help meet the underdeveloped needs of the CITEL economies.

In advancing these goals within PCC-I, NTIA worked within the U.S. delegation and made recommendations on regulatory and policy matters, including electronic commerce, telemedicine/tele-education, and interconnection best practices. NTIA also contributed to the successful conclusion, during 1999, of an Inter-American Mutual Recognition Agreement for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment ("MRA"). An MRA will benefit U.S. manufacturers by enabling domestic conformity assessment bodies to test and certify telecommunications equipment to the standards set by the importing country. NTIA was also appointed to lead a new GII Applications Rapporteur's Group to highlight and analyze the many ways that individuals, governments, and private industry are using the Internet and other advanced information infrastructures to provide innovative services and to create new business models in the region. Work in this Rapporteur's Group will begin in 2000.

Within the Permanent Executive Committee, NTIA worked closely with other country delegations to prepare revisions to the International Telecommunication Union's Americas Blue Book. The Blue Book serves as a general introduction to the regulatory policies and current telecommunications issues of the region. New chapters that covered Internet and IP Services and Trade in Telecommunications Services and Equipment were added to the book, with significant input and revisions by the U.S. delegation.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

NTIA has worked actively at the OECD to formulate international privacy policy. NTIA has helped to ensure that the OECD includes an emphasis on a multiplicity of privacy approaches, including private-sector-led approaches, and on the continued need for bridges between the different privacy approaches. NTIA has also participated in the critical effort of the United States and European Commission toward reaching an understanding on privacy protection with regard to personal data flows from EU countries to the United States.

China Telecommunications Summit (CATS)

In March 1999, NTIA successfully organized the second China-U.S. Telecommunications Summit (CATS). This Summit was the second opportunity to present the U.S. policy on the need for telecom and IT policy reform, while also promoting new market opportunities for U.S. companies. Of particular note is that 12 small- and medium-sized U.S. companies formed part of the delegation. The Chinese were pleased to find our smaller start-up companies can supply leading-edge technology in a competitive fashion.

NTIA organized the CATS Summit in conjunction with the International Trade Administration, the U.S. Embassy and several U.S. consulates in China, and the Telecommunications Industry Association. Secretary Daley and Minister for Information Industry (MII) Wu Jichuan opened the Summit. In all there were 325 participants, including senior MII officials, 16 Provincial Telecommunications Authorities (PTAs), 32 U.S. and 20 Chinese telecom and IT companies. Additionally, the Secretary attended a signing ceremony where the MII/Chinese Government approved of multiple U.S. contracts for wireless and basic telecom operations around China.

Other International Activities

NTIA was actively involved in the discussions and negotiations held by the Joint Government-Private Sector Committee of Experts on Electronic Commerce ("Joint Committee") established within the framework of the Free Trade Area of the Americas ("FTAA"). NTIA provided critical electronic commerce policy guidance to the U.S. delegation. NTIA served an important role in assuring that policy positions taken within the FTAA context reflect positions that the U.S. Government has taken in other international fora. NTIA also provided important guidance on potentially controversial electronic commerce issues, such as the domain name system, privacy, consumer protection, jurisdiction, telecommunications policy reform and liberalization.

NTIA has provided technical and policy expertise to ongoing U.S.-Japan Telecommunications Deregulation negotiations, starting in May 1998. In March 1999, the USTR found Japan in violation of its WTO commitments to ensure a fair and competitive basic telecommunications market. USTR leads interagency discussions focused on Japan's interconnection and rights-of-way policies. NTIA provided experts on all matters, and provided liaison to state regulatory experts in response to Japan's concerns that U.S. state-level regulation hampers Japanese carriers' access to the U.S. market. Talks continue into 2000.

NTIA worked in conjunction with the ITA's Export Assistance Centers in Silicon Valley and U.S. Embassy in Australia to improve market access for U.S. telecom and Internet companies. Following the Asian economic crisis, many U.S. companies either withdrew completely from Asia, or sought to relocate their bases to Australia. NTIA also conferred with Australian start-up ventures, trade associations, users groups, and government officials, to help advance the adoption of E-commerce among businesses and consumers, under the auspices of the U.S.-Australia Joint E-Commerce Statement.

With U.S. Embassy in Seoul's assistance, NTIA and other telecommunications agencies reestablished relations with the Republic of Korea's telecommunications agencies through several meetings in Washington. The Ministry of Information and Communication seeks to create a CyberSociety by further liberalizing telecommunications markets, spurring more competition among Internet service providers, and establishing greater electronic links between schools, libraries, homes, and other social institutions.

NTIA provided technical and policy expertise to an ongoing investigation by an interagency team, led by USTR, of the Mexican telecommunications market. In July 1999, NTIA joined an interagency team to investigate and discuss with Mexican officials the issues U.S. companies face in entering and operating within the Mexican telecommunications market.

Through interagency efforts, NTIA has provided assistance to Cambodia, Jamaica and the Philippines in their efforts to draft new telecommunications legislation.

Privatization of Intelsat and Inmarsat

Since 1993, NTIA has worked with the FCC and the State Department to bring about the procompetitive privatization of the two principal intergovernmental satellite communications organizations -- INTELSAT and Inmarsat. During 1999, Inmarsat completed its privatization having previously created a privatized spin-off, ICO Global, now publicly owed. In 1999, INTELSAT began the final process of its privatization and has set a target date for that privatization of April 2001. The INTELSAT and Inmarsat privatizations will be closely monitored by the Executive Branch and by the FCC to ensure that commitments for full market access in the United States are met.
 

GOAL 2: Ensure Spectrum provides the greatest benefit to all people.

The activities under this goal include developing spectrum plans and policies for both government and private sector users, satisfying the spectrum needs of Federal government agencies, advancing spectrally efficient technologies and improving the management of Federal and non-Federal spectrum to maximize the value of spectrum to society.

Managing the spectrum and making future spectrum plans require technical engineering expertise. This expertise is used to ensure that the spectrum policies and rules and regulations required for proper spectrum management nationally and internationally are technically valid; to derive the necessary technical facts that will lead to resolution of spectrum issues and problems; to provide a technical and engineering basis for future spectrum planning and standards; and to provide new ways to adopt new spectrum efficient technologies so the Federal government can use the spectrum efficiently and effectively.

Spectrum Authorization

NTIA assigns frequencies to radio stations owned and operated by the Federal Government, in accordance with authority delegated by the President. To fulfill the Federal Government's needs for access to the radio spectrum resources, NTIA's Office of Spectrum Management (OSM) has authorized 437, 313 frequency assignments for Federal agencies' use. There were approximately 75,000 Federal agency requests for assignment actions in 1999.

Spectrum support was certified for 62 planned Federal systems with a total investment cost of almost $10 billion. Spectrum support certification is an Office of Management and Budget requirement for agencies of the Federal government. NTIA engineering staff work with sponsoring agencies to mitigate potential electromagnetic compatibility problems related to the introduction of new Federal systems into the radio-frequency environment. Examples of major systems receiving spectrum support certification in 1999 include the joint NOAA/DoD National Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite System, the next generation of Global Positioning System satellites, the LANDSAT-7 Satellite System, a communications link for the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) System, communications equipment for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station, the Mars Surveyor Orbiter mission, weapons control radars for the Air force's F-15 fighter aircraft, and a data link used by the Navy's F-18 aircraft for weapons control of the Tomahawk missile.

Automated Federal Spectrum Management System

NTIA continued to maintain and enhance the automated federal spectrum management system under a program begun in 1993 to provide a standardized, automated personal computer system for Federal agencies to select interference-free spectrum, submit applications for spectrum support, and validate that the spectrum requested is within the rules and regulations governing spectrum authorization. This new capability has been developed by DoD's Joint Spectrum Management Center (JSC) under the guidance of NTIA. NTIA and DoD are both funding various parts of the automated system called the Joint Spectrum Management System for Windows ( JSMSW). NTIA has conducted 25 JSMSW training classes for almost 300 agency frequency management personnel from over 15 government agencies.

Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC)

The IRAC is comprised of representatives from the 20 Federal agencies that are major spectrum users and is an integral part of the spectrum management process. This committee provides advice to NTIA on spectrum management, resolution of various spectrum issues and problems among Federal agencies, between the government and non-government sectors through the FCC, and internationally through fora such as the ITU. The IRAC is chaired and administered by NTIA. The IRAC and its subcommittees and ad hoc groups conducted approximately 140 meetings and addressed over 3,262 Federal, non-Federal, and international spectrum management, policy, and planning issues and problems in 1999.

Spectrum Planning and Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC). The SPAC was established in 1965 to provide advice on spectrum matters. The Committee consists of 15 non-Federal members and 4 Federal members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. In 1999, one meeting was held, and the SPAC provided engineering comments on recent spectrum legislation, the NTIA initiative for adjacent band interference, the potential impact of ultra-wideband systems and results from private efforts to monitor and control negotiations for relocations within the radio spectrum. The SPAC continues work on sensible spectrum management and change options for the frequency management community.

Public Safety Wireless Network and Federal Law Enforcement Wireless Users Group

The primary efforts of NTIA's Public Safety Program involved direct leadership, policy, and technical support to the Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN) program and the Federal Law Enforcement Wireless Users Group (FLEWUG). The PSWN is a National Partnership for Reinventing Government Initiative charged with studying and designing the public safety communications network of the future. PSWN activities in 1999 included co-authoring and editing a number of program reports dealing with spectrum, interoperability, pilot projects, advanced technology, state and local partnerships, as well as guidance and advice in preparing filings to the Federal Communications Commission concerning current public safety issues. The FLEWUG is a member organization of Federal public safety agencies who meet and deliberate issues relevant to federal public safety. The PSWN, as a program, supports much of the activity of the FLEWUG. Continued direct support to the PSWN and FLEWUG by NTIA is vital to ensure the efficient and effective use of spectrum resources in a shared and interoperable environment of the future. Public Safety standards help ensure interoperability among users and competition among equipment manufacturers.

Federal/State/Local Government Interoperability and Partnerships

Since the completion of the Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee (PSWAC) effort in late 1997, NTIA has been working with other federal agencies and with State and local officials to enhance opportunities to partner with these public safety entities to accomplish common goals and share resources where practical. The State of Wisconsin provides an example of Federal Government partnering with State Governments in establishing shared and joint-use public safety telecommunications pilots. The State plans to establish a $100 million statewide radiocommunications system to satisfy its public safety requirements. The State has agreed to let Federal government agencies that have operations within the State use this system as well to provide interoperability when needed. NTIA has agreed to provide spectrum resources on a temporary basis for this pilot experimental system. If this model of resource sharing works over the next several years, it could very well be a model for other states.

As was noted in the Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee (PSWAC) Final Report, one of the more pressing public safety needs is for more spectrum for interoperability. To address the immediate need for interoperability spectrum for Federal, State, and local public safety agencies, the IRAC proposed that a number of channels in the 162-174 MHz band and the 406-420 MHz band administered by NTIA be made available during emergencies. This new interoperability plan provides radio frequencies for assignment to all Government agencies for intermittent law enforcement and public safety incident response operations. Non-Federal public safety agencies (i.e., State and local) may use the frequencies only in cooperation with agencies of the Federal Government. A total of 40 frequencies has been identified for such purposes. This interoperability plan is the first step in ensuring that sufficient radio spectrum is available when and where any emergency or public safety need may arise.

Public Safety Program Enhancement

As provided for in the FY 1999 budget, NTIA has been enhancing its public safety program staff to educate the public on Administration policies concerning public safety communications. Staff have lectured and spoken at a number of conferences, symposia, and fora including the Federal Wireless Users Forum Workshops, the Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Public Safety Wireless Network Symposium, the PSWN Executive Council, the Department of Energy annual conference, the Forestry Conservation Communications Association, the Associated Public Safety Communications Officials' Annual Conference, the British APCO Conference, the State of Wisconsin State Police organization, the multi-jurisdictional SouthWest Border Initiative, the U.S. Telecommunications Training Institute, and the combined Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture annual conference.

National Coordination Committee

The FCC is in process of a rule-making to develop service rules for the newly allocated 24 MHz band of spectrum that was formerly TV channels 60-69. NTIA is working with the FCC to develop procedures in the licensing of this spectrum and to provide a means to establish interoperability among state, local and Federal governments. To this end, NTIA, along with the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and FEMA, has co-sponsored and is actively participating in the FCC's recently established Public Safety National Coordination Committee. The advisory committee objectives are to: (1) develop an operational plan to achieve national interoperability and (2) develop technical standards to achieve full interoperability and network integration. The work of the committee is to be completed by September 2000.

Strategic Spectrum Planning (SSP) Program

In 1999, the SSP Program continued its long-range spectrum planning effort by preparing a draft NTIA report addressing Radiolocation spectrum planning, coordinating with the FCC regarding spectrum use above 30 GHz, and completing a draft of the Federal Long-Range Spectrum Plan.

The Program worked with the IRAC's Spectrum Planning Subcommittee to draft the Federal Long-Range Spectrum Plan. This plan details the current and future spectrum usage of all Federal agencies, and lists unsatisfied spectrum requirements. The program published a draft U.S. Spectrum Plan that contains a forward-looking National Table of Frequency Allocations, and tables of current and planned spectrum use for both by the Federal Government and the private sector. The Plan covers the spectrum range from 30 MHz to 300 GHz. The Plan is now being revised to include the results of the 1997 World Radiocommunication Conference.

Program staff met for bilateral sessions with European spectrum managers twice during the year to exchange views on spectrum planning matters, and participated in the annual European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) Radio Conference.

Efficient Spectrum Technologies

To promote the efficient use of radio spectrum, and to advance spectrally efficient communication technologies, NTIA's Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) undertook research and engineering studies in coordination with NTIA's OSM to expand knowledge of radio spectrum occupancy and new communication technologies. Important results of this research were spectrum use concepts and models that led to more efficient industry and Government use of the radio frequency spectrum. ITS performed spectrum resource studies as required to ascertain current and future Federal use of the spectrum and determine where significant improvements in utilization appear possible. Additionally, ITS operated a mobile Radio Spectrum Measurement System (RSMS) to measure and analyze the actual use of the spectrum. This RSMS is used to perform measurements in multiple spectrum bands at selected sites, and to make other specialized measurements as necessary to ensure compliance with frequency assignment rules and regulations. ITS completed spectrum measurements in coordination with OSM at locations in Albuquerque, NM, Twentynine Palms, CA, New Orleans, LA, and the FCC laboratory at Columbia, MD. Measurements were performed to ascertain spectrum characteristics of high-power microwave transmitters used in war-fighting applications; emissions from high-power air-search and anti-ballistic missile radars; next-generation land mobile radio systems; and low-power, ultrawideband radar transmitters. Measurements were also performed during war games exercises at Ft. Irwin, CA, to determine the characteristics of spectrum use during land battles, and to determine the source of locally reported radio interference at that facility.

ITS also undertook research and engineering to support the development of new wireless technologies including wireless local area networks, third generation wireless (IMT-2000), broadband wireless access, digital broadcasting, smart antennas, and ultra-wideband communications. One key area of research was the measurement and modeling of the propagation of radio waves which are crucial for the planning, development, and deployment of wireless technologies. Such knowledge is also needed for effective spectrum management and policy development.

ITS supported the development of wireless local area networks through models of indoor propagation, validated by measurements, that enable the accurate prediction of broadband communication performance in indoor environments. These models provide a basis for planning antenna placement and designing modulation and coding techniques for achieving broadband capacity.

Measurements were made and analyzed by ITS to determine the benefit of antenna diversity for broadband cellular technologies such as third generation wireless. IMT-2000 systems will require more gain to achieve the broadband data rates desired. For narrowband systems, gain can be realized by using antenna diversity. The diversity gain possible for broadband signals was unknown. ITS results showed the dependence of diversity gain on signal bandwidth and will enable Government and industry to consider diversity gain in decisions on third generation wireless.

Broadband access to the Internet from the home and small businesses is of major importance to the Administration and Congress. Broadband wireless access can, in addition, provide competition in the local loop (telephone service to the home). ITS continued to be the primary source of propagation measurement data and models for the broadband wireless access industry (local multipoint distribution service). Deployment of systems is beginning in the U.S. and a number of U.S. companies are exporting systems and services.

ITS developed fundamental data and more accurate modeling of radio propagation that will lead to improved methods of planning spectrum sharing for various services including advanced television (ATV) systems. ITS also provided technical support to policy makers in FCC rulemaking proceedings regarding ATV, low power FM radio stations, and the Satellite Home Viewers Act.

Adaptive or "smart" antennas are the most promising technology for enabling mobile broadband communications and for easing the spectrum shortage by increasing spectrum efficiency. ITS continued to develop its Advanced Antenna Testbed to support industry and academia in the development of smart antenna technology. Plans to apply the testbed were discussed with several universities and the National Science Foundation.

Ultra-wideband wireless communications is another new technology. Promoters claim that it will greatly decrease the cost of wireless communications, that it will make spectrum sharing very simple, and that it has other significant advantages such as increased security and reliability. ITS measured and modeled the spectral emissions of prototype ultra-wideband communication equipment developed by industry to help evaluate the compatibility of these new systems with existing spectrum users.

United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI)

NTIA spectrum management experts, in conjunction with Motorola and ComSearch, successfully conducted a radio frequency spectrum management training seminar for 20 spectrum managers from 15 developing countries. The seminar was two weeks long and is conducted annually in Washington under the auspices of the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI). The seminar is an industry and government joint venture that provides free training to spectrum professionals and regulators from developing nations. The theme of the 1999 seminar was "Spectrum Management for the 21st Century." It covered basic spectrum management and computer-aided techniques, emerging new technologies, the development of commercial enterprises, and special topics in communications satellites and land mobile communications. NTIA experts also lectured on spectrum management to a group of senior government regulatory officials from Thailand, provided technical assistance and policy advice to the spectrum management regulatory agency of Panama, and provided a short spectrum management seminar to a delegation of regulatory officials from Chile.

In addition to its traditional activities with USTTI, NTIA's Assistant Secretary Gregory Rohde addressed a USTTI audience from eleven developing countries about the benefits of infrastructure development, advanced technologies and electronic commerce for economic development. The participants in USTTI's Electronic Commerce seminar were drawn from the eleven countries chosen in the first phase of the Internet for Economic Development Initiative.

Emergency Readiness Plan (ERP)

In 1999, NTIA undertook efforts to develop an electronic database on Federal use of the radio frequency spectrum under wartime emergency conditions. The priorities for each Federal spectrum-dependent system certified for use in a wartime environment were established by the end of 1999, following review and concurrence by the members of the IRAC Emergency Planning Subcommittee (EPS). NTIA will now proceed with completing the database and forward the final draft ERP for Use of the Radio Spectrum to the Director, Office of Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President, for final approval. NTIA will issue a classified CD-ROM containing the complete ERP, including the certified database of wartime spectrum priority data. This plan and its associated database will be the basis for NTIA and the Federal government to exercise spectrum responsibilities during all types of emergency scenarios.

Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA-93) and Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA-97) Requirements

As a result of the requirements of OBRA-93 and BBA-97, NTIA identified 255 MHz of Federal spectrum for reallocation to the private sector to support growing spectrum needs for emerging telecommunications technologies. Because of complex spectrum sharing requirements, a number of follow-up actions are required by NTIA, in coordination with the IRAC and FCC. During 1999, NTIA undertook the following actions:

On behalf of the President, NTIA exercised the option to substitute the 4940-4990 MHz band for the originally identified 4635-4685 MHz band, the loss of which the Department of Defense stated would jeopardize national security. The letter effecting this substitution was sent to Congress and the FCC.

Based on inputs from affected Federal agencies, two associated NTIA spectrum reallocation reports indicated the estimated Federal costs to implement these reallocations to be in excess of $1.5 billion. The magnitude of these estimated costs as well as the potential operational impact to Federal operations has continued to raise concerns among the affected Federal agencies. As a result of these concerns and other factors, Congress enacted a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000 (Defense Act) to require completion of an interagency review and assessment of these and potential future reallocations of Federal spectrum. This project was begun during 1999 and is expected to be completed for delivery to Congress by October 1, 2000.

These laws did not make provisions for reimbursement to the affected Federal agencies for the direct costs associated with the reallocation process, which is estimated to exceed $1.5 billion. To partially remedy this situation, Congress included a provision in the Defense Authorization Act to require, under certain conditions, that private entities gaining access to these bands through auctions shall compensate the affected Federal agencies. During CY1999, NTIA prepared draft procedures for implementation of these requirements, including a process for resolving any differences that arise between the Government and commercial licensees over estimates of associated relocation or modification costs. These procedures will be finalized in coordination with the affected federal agencies and with the Commission.

Global Positioning System Spectrum Harmonization Study

P.L. 106-79, including the accompanying House Report 106-371 directs the Department of Defense to initiate a spectrum harmonization study to be conducted by NTIA and to be delivered to the defense appropriations committees no later than January 31, 2000. During 1999, NTIA prepared a summary plan describing the tasks to be performed to assess the potential for interference to GPS receivers from the aggregate emissions from other transmitters. Based on the complexity and magnitude of the evaluation, analysis and testing to assess these other sources of interference and the GPS receiver susceptibilities, NTIA will complete a final spectrum harmonization study by January 31, 2002. The estimated cost for the NTIA's effort will be approximately $2,000,000 over a two year period. NTIA will continue to work with Congressional and DoD staff to finalize the planning for this task.

Spectrum Measurement Activities

NTIA performed the following measurements under the management of NTIA's Institute for Telecommunications Sciences (ITS). These measurements were used to obtain the necessary technical information for subsequent application to spectrum issues and problems and to aid spectrum planning and the development of spectrum policy. The following measurements were completed in 1999:

Land Mobile Radio Emission Characteristics. Land mobile radio (LMR) emission characteristics measurements were performed on several analog and digital (TDMA and CDMA) transmitters. Unwanted emissions levels, non-harmonic and harmonic spurious, were determined to assess performance for compliance with emission limits required to ensure compatibility with the Global Positioning System (GPS). The measured data will be forwarded to the Technical Subcommittee of the IRAC for review of LMR spectrum standards.

Maritime Mobile VHF Channel Occupancy. Measurements were performed at several Coast Guard base stations in the New Orleans area to determine which VHF marine channels were clear. Channel occupancy of the marine channels, the interstitial channels and the vhf-high band commercial pagers were measured. The channel occupancy data was used to coordinate spectrum with existing users and to identify channels that the new Vessel Traffic Service Automatic Independent Surveillance (VTS AIS) system could use to ensure reliable coverage and performance. The study was documented in an NTIA Report, Lower Mississippi River VTS Frequency Survey, (NTIA Report 99-364).

Maritime Mobile VHF Receiver Performance Measurements. In March 1999, measurements were performed at the ITS laboratory on nine handheld VHF marine radios to evaluate their performance for compliance with receiver standards specified in International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 1097-9. This information was used to develop receiver standards for Radio Technical Commission for Maritime (RTCM) SC-117 and coordinated with the IEC. These results were documented in an NTIA Report, Evaluation of Marine VHF Radios: Compliance to IEC Receiver Standards, (NTIA Report 99-363).

High Power Radar Measurements. In April 1999, emission spectrum measurements were made on a high power radar at Kirkland AFB, NM. The measured data were provided to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Air Force (USAF) to assess the need for special air traffic control requirements during testing of the high power radar.

Ultra-Wideband (UWB) Device Measurements. Part 15 compliance measurements were performed on a Time Domain, Inc. radar system at the FCC laboratory in Columbia, MD. These measurements were conducted to verify compliance with the waiver issued by NTIA for ultra-wideband systems. Also, methods of measuring the emission characteristics of UWB devices were studied to identify procedures for assessing compatibility with other services.

Federal Wireless Policy Committee

NTIA in 1999 continued its activities with the Federal Wireless Policy Committee, an inter-agency organization that encourages agencies to use commercially available wireless services and products by identifying agencies' requirements and providing a forum for government officials and industry representatives to meet. The Federal Wireless Policy Committee helped organize two Federal Wireless Users' Forums to discuss technology and regulatory issues.

Wireless Enhanced 911 Services

NTIA wrote a letter to the FCC in 1999 urging it to move forward with rules requiring wireless phone service providers to be able to locate callers who dial 911 in an emergency. NTIA, on behalf of the Administration, favored allowing commercial mobile service providers to determine the specific automated location technology they would use, but urged the FCC to establish and keep strict deadlines for implementation of these services in order to save lives.

Spectrum Management Fees

Congress passed P.L. 104-208, which specifies that Federal agencies shall pay fees charged by NTIA for spectrum management costs or cease using the spectrum. NTIA implemented the law in FY 97-99. The Federal agencies provided $5.0 million in FY 97, $7.5 million in FY 98, and $12.9 million in FY 99. NTIA has requested a total of $13.5 million in FY 00, which is 80 percent of the funds needed to sustain NTIA's spectrum management operations.

Spectrum Information Available to the Public

The OSM Web site was placed online in 1995 and consisted, at that time, of 13 pages and received approximately 50 visits per day. Today, the OSM Web site consists of 265 pages, includes the full text of 18 OSM reports, the full text of the NTIA Manual of Regulations & Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management, 15 Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee (PSWAC) reports, and draft proposals for the 2000 World Radio Conference. The OSM web sites receives over 100 visits per day. Over 80 percent of those visits come from non-Federal government sites. About 25 percent of the visits come from sites outside the U.S. The most frequently visited page is the one containing the U.S. Frequency Allocation Chart.
 

GOAL 3: Advance the Public Interest in telecommunications, mass media, and information.

Activities under the Public Interest goal include promoting universal service and access, assistance in maintaining and extending the services of public broadcasting and telecommunications facilities, promoting a diversity of choices in the mass media, encouraging private sector initiatives to give citizens the ability to protect their children from indecent material, facilitating private sector determination of the public interest obligations of broadcasters, establishing principles for the protection of personal privacy, and working to maintain the U.S. telecommunications and information infrastructure in time of crisis. NTIA continues to provide assistance to public broadcasting stations which provide "over-the-air" service to more than 95 percent of the U.S. population. NTIA is also helping public television stations convert their facilities for digital broadcasting.

NTIA develops policies in many areas that promote the public interest. One is in telecommunications services, where NTIA's policies promote universal, available and affordable services for all Americans. Another is in considering policies for the development of the Internet and other advanced services. NTIA also works to promote the public interest in the nation's mass media, including new digital television services.

The Digital Divide

One of the top priorities of the Clinton Administration is to ensure that basic and advanced telecommunications services are available to everyone and at affordable prices. The "digital divide" separates those who have access to telecommunications - - through telephones, computers and the Internet - - and those who do not. In July 1999, President Clinton and Secretary Daley released Falling Through the Net III: Defining the Digital Divide. The "Falling Through the Net" report series uses Census Bureau data to determine which Americans have access to telephones, computers, and the Internet, broken down by region, income, race, age, and other factors. These reports provide a principal foundation and justification for Clinton Administration telecommunications policies and a solid empirical foundation for policymakers and others throughout government and the private sector. As the United States takes steps to close the digital divide, there needs to be a measure of our progress. The reports in this series provide such a measure. The data collected is an important metric that helps gauge the extent to which Americans are universally able to access the fruits of the Information Age. The demand for this report series is evidenced by the worldwide print, radio, and television coverage that accompanied the 1999 release. It has helped focus attention on the Administration's efforts to close the digital divide.

In December, 1999, NTIA organized a summit on closing the digital divide. Led by Secretary Daley, the summit focused on expanding access to information technologies for underserved populations and areas. Summit participants from the federal government, technology industry, civil rights and non-profit communities, grassroots community organizations, and the general public examined public and private initiatives to close the technology gap and discussed how to expand and coordinate these efforts. As a result of the Summit, NTIA created a web site at http://digitaldivide.gov to provide a central resource for federal government information on closing the digital divide. NTIA also commenced the conduct of research on broadband access policies in overseas markets, and began efforts to disseminate foreign digital divide activities through the new Digital Divide website.

E-Rate and Protecting Children

NTIA in 1999 continued its activities with respect to the "E-Rate," which provides assistance to schools, libraries, and other non-profit organizations in accessing advanced telecommunications services. The E-rate program and other educational technology initiatives are transforming our nation's classrooms and libraries. Today, 51 percent of public school classrooms are connected to the Internet, up from 27 percent in 1997 and 3 percent in 1994. Some 25,785 schools, school districts, and libraries in 1999 received $1.66 billion to help pay for internal wiring and discounted connections to the Internet.

In May 1999, NTIA filed a letter with the FCC, commending it on behalf of the Clinton Administration for completing the first funding cycle of the E-rate program. NTIA noted, however, that as increasing numbers of children have access to the Internet from their schools and neighborhood libraries, these children must have positive, age-appropriate, educational online experiences. With respect to the issue of children's access to online material that their parents and teachers deem to be inappropriate for them, the Administration advocated a user-empowerment approach. Schools and libraries are today using a wide range of technology tools and monitoring techniques to ensure that children do not encounter inappropriate material and dangerous situations while online. NTIA stated that, absent proof that local decision making is not working to protect children, the federal government should not mandate a particular type of technology, such as filtering or blocking software. Rather, we should encourage "acceptable use" policies by all public institutions that offer access to online resources, including the Internet. An acceptable use policy, NTIA said, should offer reasonable assurances to parents that safeguards will be in place in the school and library setting that permit users to be empowered to have educational experiences consistent with their values. NTIA also stated that the FCC can help promote this policy by adopting a requirement that all schools and libraries that receive Federal E-rate funds certify that they will implement acceptable use policies before such funds are awarded to them. This would be an important improvement in the program and provide a critical protection for our children.

Broadband Telecommunications Networks and Services

NTIA has been at the forefront of the Administration's efforts to facilitate the development of broadband networks and services. The agency has proposed and supported policies that would make it easier for new competitors to enter the market and offer advanced broadband services. NTIA has also recommended regulatory changes that would enable incumbent local telephone companies to provide such services on a less-regulated basis, subject to safeguards to protect competition. NTIA has also explored whether and to what extent universal service policies may need to be changed to ensure affordable access by all Americans to broadband services.

Throughout 1999, NTIA actively participated in FCC proceedings on broadband issues. NTIA presented its position in three letters filed with the FCC. In one, NTIA favored an FCC ruling that would make it easier for local telephone companies to sell digital subscriber line (DSL) services to Internet service providers (ISPs). In a second letter, NTIA suggested conditions under which local telephone companies could be allowed to offer DSL services on a less-regulated basis. The letter also proposed changes to the FCC's collocation practices that would allow new entrants to provide competitive DSL services more quickly and at less cost.

Finally, NTIA advocated an FCC ruling that when DSL services are used to access ISPs and the Internet, those services are interstate offerings subject to exclusive FCC jurisdiction.

In another letter, NTIA articulated principles that should guide the FCC in conducting the broadband inquiry mandated by section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Broadcast Ownership Diversity

The expanding multimedia marketplace includes terrestrial broadcasting, cable television, satellite broadcasting, cable multipoint multichannel distribution service (MMDS), open video systems (OVS), and emerging video and audio media via the Internet. These many services offer the potential for greater competition, diversity of ownership and viewpoints, and localism.

NTIA has been an active participant in the FCC review of the structural broadcast ownership rules that seeks to assure that greater viewpoint diversity and competition accompany the introduction of new mass media platforms. In February 1999, for example, NTIA wrote a letter to the FCC offering NTIA's comments on these issues. NTIA urged the FCC to act decisively to preserve the core principle of viewpoint diversity embodied in the First Amendment as well as the fundamental values of localism and competition.

Community Development and Telecommunications

In September 1999, NTIA and the Community Development Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative (CDIII) joined to host a conference, "Community Business and Economic Growth Through Telecommunications." The CDIII is a national research project on the future of community development and community development finance that is funded by a number of major foundations and financial institutions. The conference brought together community economic development organizations, community-oriented lenders and investors, and representatives from large and small telecommunications companies. The primary purposes were: 1) to provide sufficient information on the telecommunications industry to encourage community-based entrepreneurial projects; 2) to identify business lending and equity investing opportunities in small support businesses in the telecommunications industry; and 3) to bring together representatives of the telecommunications industry, the financial community, and entrepreneurs for simultaneous training, information sharing, and networking.

Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP)

NTIA's PTFP assists in maintaining and extending the services of public broadcasting and telecommunications facilities, including the conversion of public television to digital broadcasting. The program annually awards grants to public broadcasting and other noncommercial entities for the purchase of, or in some cases to plan for the eventual purchase of, telecommunications equipment. In 1999, PTFP issued grants totaling approximately $21.7 million for 99 projects in 42 states and U.S. territories. The grants enable public broadcasting organizations, as well as many nonbroadcast operations, to buy equipment to activate new services, to extend the range of present services, and to improve existing broadcast facilities.

In 1999, PTFP awarded 38 public radio grants, 51 public television grants, 9 distance learning grants, and one grant to the University of Hawaii for the Pan-Pacific Educational and Cultural Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT) Project. Ten of the radio awards will extend a public radio signal to approximately 175,000 persons who presently do not receive any signal. Communities receiving new service include Grand Canyon Village, AZ; Mojave, CA; Cape May, NJ; Jackpot, NV; and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation, NV. The other radio projects are intended to preserve existing service to listeners. For example, an award to Nebraska Educational Telecommunications will replace the radio antennas at four stations which serve about one third of the state.

Eight of these awards will allow public television stations in Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Pensacola, Phoenix, St. Paul, San Diego and Trenton to initiate their conversion to digital broadcasting, per FCC requirements. Thirty awards for equipment replacement projects will assist public television stations with the purchase of digital-ready or digitally compatible equipment. For example, equipment replacement grants include awards made to purchase seven digital capable transmitters in five states.

PTFP also has been a source of federal funding for catastrophic loss and urgently needed replacement equipment. Communities hit by hurricanes, fire, wind storms, or earthquakes often would be without public television and radio if it were not for the program. In 1999, for example, NTIA awarded a grant to replace a microwave interconnection serving the public television station in Ponce, PR after the microwave was destroyed by hurricane Georges.

Advanced Telecommunications for Disaster Warnings

In 1999, NTIA participated in an inter-agency working group organized under Vice President Gore's National Performance Review. Through that process, NTIA helped bring together federal government officials involved in fields including weather forecasting and disaster management, with private sector telecommunications firms, to develop alternative means of delivering weather and other disaster warnings using modern telecommunications technologies, such as advanced television receivers, wireline and wireless telephones, and the Internet.

Critical Infrastructure Protection

The Secretary of Commerce has assigned NTIA to fulfill the lead agency responsibilities for the information and communications sector under the Critical Infrastructure Protection Program (CIP). CIP was formally initiated when the President issued Presidential Decision Directive 63 (PDD-63) in May 1998. In addition to its lead agency responsibilities, NTIA will also be performing telecommunications research activities specifically designed to further CIP objectives. Both the CIP lead agency and research form a major new body of work that may grow substantially in future years, subject to the availability of funds. Organizationally, this work will be done through NTIA's Office of Spectrum Management and Institute for Telecommunication Sciences.
 

GOAL 4: Promote the Availability and Sources of Advanced Telecommunications and Information Services.

Activities under this goal include demonstrating advanced, innovative applications of telecommunications and information technology in the non-profit and public sectors, promoting the growth of electronic commerce and Internet use domestically and internationally, meeting the compelling telecommunications research needs of other Federal agencies and industry through cooperative research and development, promoting international acceptance of U.S. spectrum proposals, and participating in ITU and domestic standards development to benefit U.S. industry and user interests.

Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) [formerly known as the Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP)]

TOP promotes the widespread use and availability of advanced telecommunications and information technologies in the public and non-profit sectors. By providing matching grants for information infrastructure projects, this program helps develop a nationwide, interactive, broadband information infrastructure that is accessible to all Americans, in rural as well as urban areas. TOP plays a central role in the Administration's efforts to close the digital divide.

TOP provides matching grants to non-profit organizations and state and local governments across the United States to demonstrate advanced, innovative applications of telecommunications and information technology. These grants provide critical seed money to help forge partnerships in local communities across the country, ensuring that telecommunications technologies live up to their potential by enhancing community services, heath care delivery, public safety, and education and lifelong learning.

In 1999, forty-three public and non-profit institutions, competitively selected from more than 700 applicants, were awarded $17.6 million in federal grants. Projects were selected on the basis of their ability to serve as models that can be replicated by similar organizations across the country. The grants were awarded in five categories; some examples of the awards include:

Education, Culture and Lifelong Learning. The New Hampshire Community Technical College will use computers to establish two-way links between educators and local businesses to offer remedial education as well as computer classes to people who are considered the "working poor";

Public Services. Second Harvest, a project in Chicago, Illinois, will use a nationwide computer network of local food banks to more effectively distribute food to areas with the greatest need;

Health. The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia will use a high-speed Internet test bed to provide rehabilitation services to patients who have sustained catastrophic spinal cord and brain injuries, their family members, and care givers;

Public Safety. The Fund for the City of New York will create a shared network among juvenile offenders, their parents, caseworkers, and social service providers to promote youth development; and

Community-Wide Networking. The Philadelphia Enterprise Center in Pennsylvania will develop an Interactive Business Network to increase enterprise development and entrepreneurship in inner-city West Philadelphia.

Since the TOP program was initiated in 1994, NTIA has awarded more than $135 million in matching funds that has spurred nearly $330 million in total investments. Appendix A contains a listing of the 43 grants awarded in 1999.

TOP also expanded its educational mission beyond U.S. borders in 1999, to share experiences with overseas policy-makers and practitioners. In June 1999, TOP conducted a full-day workshop on the international implications and lessons learned from U.S. applications in community networking, healthcare, public safety, and education. In November 1999, TOP conducted an international outreach panel as part of its successful "Networks for People" conference, to include panelists from the World Bank, U.S. AID, and several private sector entities.

Children and Computers Report

In 1999, NTIA released How Access Benefits Children: Connecting Our Kids to the World of Information, the fourth in a series of reports that tracks the impact of telecommunications and information technology on Americans today. The report describes how young people across America are using the Internet and other information age tools to connect with and enrich their communities.

Grant Evaluations

NTIA contracted with Westat, a research and consulting firm, to survey the 206 TOP projects awarded in 1994 and 1995. Westat also did in-depth case studies on a sample of 24 projects from 1994-1995. The study, conducted during the summer of 1998, is the first evaluation report in NTIA's ongoing effort to collect and share the lessons learned by the TOP grant recipients. The study's key findings, which were reported in February, 1999, are highlighted below.

Ninety percent of the projects are still in operation. The majority of projects reported meeting or exceeding nearly all of their objectives. Most important, the projects are sustaining themselves beyond the federal grant period.

Each grant dollar generated another four dollars to support information infrastructure. In addition to non-federal matching funds, the grants led to investments that expanded their services beyond the original scope and further investments to support spin-off activities.

Model projects and extensive outreach are effectively encouraging the use of innovative information technology. The 206 organizations alone reported responding to 79,000 unsolicited requests for information and hosted visitors representing over 5,000 organizations.

The grants are bringing communities together. On average, each grant recipient worked with 3.4 partners. Sixty percent of the projects collaborated with private sector organizations. In addition, a number of projects reported new joint ventures that were direct outcomes or spinoffs of their TOP grants.

The projects focused on underserved communities. Sixty-five percent of projects involved end users in rural areas, while 48 percent of projects reported involving end users in the inner cities. Fifty-nine percent reached end users living in extreme poverty and 42 percent involved end users with disabilities.

The grant funds made the difference. Seventy-five percent of grant recipients reported that their projects never would have happened without the TOP funds. Of the remaining 25 percent, 90 percent indicated that, without TOP support, the projects would have either reached significantly fewer people, or have been substantially delayed, or dramatically reduced their range of services.

Twenty-four case studies and a summary of findings also were published.

In October, 1999, Westat completed additional case studies of twelve TOP projects funded in 1996. The case studies were selected in part to study three particular subjects: (1) issues particular to rural communities; (2) issues particular to urban communities; and (3) challenges in sustaining information technology-based projects. The case study report gives evidence of the special challenges that these twelve TOP projects faced and provides information for a better understanding of factors that can facilitate the success of such projects.

E-Commerce/Internet Issues

The Internet for Economic Development Initiative

The Internet for Economic Development Initiative (IED) is designed to increase Internet access and use in developing and least developed countries (LDCs). It is chaired by the Vice-President's office, and jointly led by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. This initiative is directed at assisting developing countries in four major areas: (1) encouraging the creation of pro-competitive policy and regulatory environments where the Internet and E-Commerce can flourish (2) spurring the deployment of advanced information infrastructure to under-served areas (rural, remote and urban) through collaboration with multinational organizations, NGOs and the private sector (3) providing education and training to local entrepreneurs, knowledge-workers, policy makers and regulators and (4) fostering the use of specific Internet applications such as micro-e-commerce, telemedicine, distance learning, and to facilitate improved access to government services. NTIA has been a critical player in both the development and implementation of this initiative from its inception. In addition, NTIA participated in the first IED infrastructure assessment in Morocco and participated in an electronic commerce seminar for the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) WTO Ministerial preparations in Tanzania. The first phase of the IED selected eleven developing and least developed countries (LDCs). Those counties are: Bulgaria, Egypt, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Jamaica, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa and Uganda (additional countries will be added as the project develops). NTIA will continue to play an active role in this important initiative.

On Line Privacy/Profiling Workshop:

With the rapidly increasing use of the Internet, developing effective approaches to ensure consumers' privacy rights are not compromised is a critical challenge. Increasing awareness and understanding of how on-line practices such as profiling work is essential for consumers to exercise choice as to how much information they would like to provide, to whom and for what use. NTIA is working to raise awareness and understanding of the privacy and business concerns related to on-line practices such as profiling and to find innovative approaches to address those concerns. These approaches optimally allow consumers to maintain their flexibility to tailor their Internet use to meet their own personal preferences. In addition, these approaches contribute to a regulatory framework that will encourage the phenomenal growth of the Internet and electronic commerce.

In July 1998, Vice President Gore asked the Department of Commerce to work with the Federal Trade Commission to encourage companies that build dossiers (profiles) about individuals by integrating information from a variety of database sources to implement effective self-regulatory mechanisms. On November 8, 1999, NTIA and the FTC hosted a well-attended workshop to explore online profiling. The workshop included sessions that looked at profiling technologies, their effect on the privacy of Internet users, and industry's current self-regulatory efforts to develop privacy protections for on-line consumers. A FTC report to Congress on the workshop with input from NTIA and recommendations is being developed and will be submitted in the Spring of 2000. NTIA has an active role in this process and is committed to working with consumers, privacy advocates, other government agencies and industry to address issues and to find effective approaches to protecting privacy on-line. Raising awareness of issues and concerns is not sufficient. NTIA is currently working with industry leaders to develop effective self-regulatory approaches. These approaches include websites posting enforceable privacy policies which cover the fair information protection principles of notice, choice, access and security with regular third party audits of their adherence.

Consumer Protection in Electronic Commerce

In 1999, NTIA worked in a number of national and international fora to fulfill the President's mandate to promote consumer confidence and ensure effective consumer protection in the global electronic marketplace. NTIA provided policy guidance to enhance the negotiations on Guidelines for Consumer Protection in the Context of Electronic Commerce, worked with the private sector to begin implementation of these Guidelines, worked with an inter-agency team to plan a Spring 2000 workshop regarding alternative dispute resolution for online transactions, and coordinated with the APEC Electronic Commerce Steering Committee to develop a one-day seminar scheduled in mid-2000 regarding consumer protection in the online environment.

Internet Domain Name System

In 1999, NTIA made great strides towards fulfilling the goals of the President's 1997 directive to privatize and increase competition and global participation in the management of the Internet domain name system. On November, 25 1998, NTIA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to work collaboratively on the transition of domain name system (DNS) functions to the private sector. As a result of this collaboration, the private sector, through the ICANN process, has made tremendous progress in establishing representative, bottom-up procedures contemplated in the in the Administration's statement of policy (or White Paper) issued in June, 1998. During 1999, ICANN completed its organizational structure, accredited more than seventy new domain name registrars to provide competitive registration services in the .com, .net, and .org domains, and completed its first round of elections for its board of directors, among other accomplishments.

Further, in 1999, NTIA, with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), entered into an Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with ICANN to increase the security and stability of the Internet root server system. As part of this agreement, ICANN successfully ensured that the root server system was in compliance with Year 2000 (Y2K) requirements.

On November 10, 1999, NTIA, working closely with other Department of Commerce offices and agencies, successfully reached and executed a series of agreements between the Network Solutions, Inc., the company that has managed certain aspects of the domain name system on behalf of the U.S. Government since 1992, ICANN and the Department of Commerce. These agreements, which were necessary to facilitate a smooth transition of DNS functions to the private sector, resulted in significant gains for the United States, including:

- A reduction in the wholesale price of a domain name to $6 per year;
- Increased flexibility for consumers to chose among a number of different domain name registration services providers and determine the length of a domain name registration;
- Insured availability of domain name registration data vital to third parties that wish to create new and innovative value added services, while prohibiting the use of the data to enable the transmission of mass unsolicited commercial solicitations via e-mail (spam);
- Increased protection against cybersquatting (the practice of deliberately registering a domain name in violation of an entity's trademark) by requiring all domain name registrars to ensure adequate receipt of payment for a domain name at the time of registration;
- The use of the "InterNIC" website as a public information resource that provides users with domain name registration information, including a directory of all accredited registrars.

Over the next year, NTIA will work closely with ICANN to ensure that the transition to private sector management is completed in accordance with the Administration's principles for DNS management: stability; competition; private, bottom-up coordination; and representation.

Cooperative Research and Development

The Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986 (FTTA) allows Federal laboratories to enter into cooperative research agreements with private industry, universities, and other interested parties. The law was passed in order to provide laboratories with legal authority to enter into these arrangements and thus encourage technology transfer from Federal labs to the private sector. ITS established a core telecommunications research expertise that is accessible to both the public and private sectors and is actively engaged in technology transfer and commercialization efforts by fostering cooperative telecommunications research with industry where benefits can directly facilitate U.S. competitiveness and market opportunities. Through cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) with industry, ITS applies its expertise to practical problems in telecommunications today. ITS completed several CRADAs with the private sector (e.g., U S WEST Advanced Technologies, Inc., Hewlett-Packard, American Automobile Manufacturers Association, GTE Laboratories, Integrator Corporation, Industrial Technologies, Inc., Lehman Chambers, ARINC) to design, develop, test, and evaluate advanced telecommunications concepts. Data derived from these CRADAs provided a foundation for domestic and international standards development and efficient allocation of radio frequency spectrum resources. To date, major contributions to personal communication services (PCS) and local multipoint distribution service (LMDS) technologies have been and will continue to be carried out under these CRADAs to aid U.S. efforts to rapidly introduce new communications technologies for the benefit of society.

A CRADA was initiated in FY 1999 with Lucent Bell Laboratories. ITS conducted measurements on its patented, advanced antenna technology (BLAST). The technology allows the communication of several-fold more information in a given bandwidth than was previously possible. It enables broadband communications in a narrowband channel in cluttered environments. The measurements enabled Bell Laboratories to test the limitations that real world manufacturing places on the theoretical capabilities of BLAST technology. In FY 1999, ITS also began receiving royalties from a CRADA partner for products sold using an ITS-patented technology to objectively determine, through computer software, the quality of voice signals. Cellular telephone service providers are using the products to maintain the quality of service in their networks.

ITS also supports the mission of other Federal agencies through reimbursable work agreements. These efforts support a key NTIA responsibility of making available its laboratory's telecommunications expertise to other Federal agencies in a centralized, cost-effective manner.

The Columbine High School shootings re-enforced the need for local, state, and Federal public safety officials to be able to communicate more effectively with each other during emergencies. Such interoperability is a high priority for the Department of Justice which initiated the Advanced Generation of Interoperability for Law Enforcement (AGILE) program. In FY 1999, ITS worked under the AGILE program to develop the plan and began implementing efforts to develop standards to provide telecommunications interoperability. This work was conducted through the NIST Office of Law Enforcement Standards through which ITS has been addressing law enforcement needs for telecommunication standards for a number of years.

ITS has also made technical contributions to the NTIA Public Safety program. In particular, ITS initiated efforts to develop the standards to be used to network public safety radio base stations together. This technical effort is being led under the auspices of the Telecommunication Industry Association's Project 25 and the Department of Justice.

ITS continued its long history of assistance to multiple Department of Defense agencies. In FY 1999, much of this work was of a sensitive nature. Contributions of import include assistance in determining the security challenges posed by rapidly emerging new telecommunication technologies; analysis for evaluating the threat of radio frequency weapons and the vulnerability of the Nation's telecommunications infrastructure to attack; and analysis to assist in the application of electronics and communications to enhance combat effectiveness.

ITS also provided key technical support to the work of the Federal Railway Administration in improving railway traffic management and safety and to the National Communications System in enhancing communications survivability during national emergencies.

ITS continued its efforts to make technology results easily available to the larger user community. One way is through our Telecommunication Analysis Services (TA Services) program, an Internet service that currently reaches over 200 Government and private sector users across the Nation and makes available the latest models and tools developed by ITS in the telecommunications field. The service is available through web-based electronic CRADAs. It makes the latest models (e.g., PCS propagation) available to telecommunications systems planners and designers. ITS will continue these efforts in 2000 and beyond.

International Telecommunication Union

Through its participation in international fora, NTIA ensures that U.S. spectrum requirements are satisfied on an international basis. These fora include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Commission on Inter-American Telecommunications (CITEL), and the International Special Committee on Radio Interference (CISPR).

The ITU, a specialized agency of the United Nations, has 188 Member States, including the United States. NTIA, the State Department and the FCC participate in the ITU via plenipotentiary conferences, radio conferences, technical study groups, and other fora.

1998 Plenipotentiary Conference. NTIA played a key role in the preparations for this conference and in the work of the U.S delegation at the conference. NTIA, with the advice of the Radio Conference Subcommittee (RCS) of the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC) developed coordinated federal agency views on a variety of issues including the structure, budget and strategic plan of the ITU.

World Radiocommunication Conference 2000 (WRC-2000). NTIA began its preparations for this conference immediately after the close of WRC-97. The NTIA and the FCC continued their previously established joint processes for the development of draft U.S. proposals for world radiocommunications conferences. NTIA prepares proposals representing federal government agencies through the RCS. The FCC prepares nongovernment proposals through its WRC-2000 Advisory Committee. NTIA, through the RCS, approved preliminary views on most of the agenda items for the conference. This represents the first time that the U.S. has put forth its views in an official form so early in the conference preparation process. Furthermore, NTIA and the FCC developed draft U.S. proposals for WRC-2000 agenda items. Key issues for this conference includes spectrum for 3rd generation wireless, protection of Global Positioning System (GPS) operations, and sharing between nongeostationary and geostationary fixed satellite service systems.

Technical Study Groups. NTIA contributes to the work of the ITU Radiocommunications Sector study groups by participating in U.S. preparation activities of the State Department International Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC), which is organized to "mirror" the ITU, and through participation on the U.S. delegations to study group and sub-group meetings. During 1999, NTIA provided chairmen and led U.S. delegations for Study Group 1 (spectrum management), Working Party 1A (spectrum engineering), WP1B (spectrum sharing), Task Group 1/5 (unwanted emissions), Task Group 1/6 (coordination areas around satellite earth stations), Study Group 3 (radio propagation), Joint Rapporteur Group 8A-9B (fixed wireless access), and Study Group 9 (fixed service). Furthermore, NTIA coordinated many of the preparations and led the U.S. delegation to Working Party 8D (mobile-satellite and radio-navigation satellite). These study groups are essential to laying the technical ground work for radio conference agenda items as well has developing recommendations to solve important technical issues of concern to the international community.

ITU and Domestic Standards Development

ITS continued to provide leadership, technical contributions, and advocacy of U.S. Government and industry proposals in the ITU-T, ITU-R, and related national telecommunication standards committees during 1999. The Institute's ITU-T work promotes competition, innovation, and international trade in telecommunications equipment and services through standardization of network performance and user-oriented Quality of Service (QOS) metrics. During 1999, this work was focused in two ITU-T groups: Study Group 13 Working Party 4, which develops performance Recommendations for high-speed synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH), broadband integrated services digital network (B-ISDN), asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), and Internet protocol (IP)-based technologies, and Study Group 12 Working Party 2, which defines end-to-end transmission performance parameters and objectives for voiceband networks and terminals. ITS leadership in Study Group 13 contributed to the completion and approval of two new ITU-T Recommendations (IP packet transfer and availability performance, B-ISDN call processing performance) and two revised Recommendations (error performance, timing and synchronization performance in broadband transmission networks) during 1999. ITS participants also initiated new ITU-T work on standardization of QOS objectives for voice over IP (VoIP) and other real-time IP services, and continued leadership of the ITU-T Video Quality Experts Group, which is conducting a comprehensive, multi-laboratory evaluation of proposed video quality assessment technologies proposed for international standardization. Finally, ITS provided leadership and technical contributions in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited T1 (Telecommunications) Committee's T1A1 (Performance) Subcommittee, whose activities strongly support ITU-T performance standardization goals.

The Institute's ITU-R work provides a technical basis for spectrum allocation decisions and spectrum use both globally and regionally, and helps to ensure compatibility between radio systems operated by U.S. government and industry organizations and those operated in other countries. During 1999, ITS spearheaded ITU-R Study Group 3 efforts to advance existing radio wave propagation, noise/interference, and coverage prediction techniques to substantially better levels of accuracy and resolution. Institute staff members obtained the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) 1-km worldwide terrain database from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and successfully introduced the database for international use. ITS led ITU-R development of algorithms for extracting path profiles from such terrain databases; contributed to the enhancement and use of the Okumura-Hata model, which provides coarse estimates of excess path loss due to land use/land cover (e.g., vegetation, buildings); and began the development of more precise land use/land cover models derived from multiple photographic images of target areas (e.g., cities). These models will be widely used in the design of radio systems where line-of-sight paths are required (e.g., LMDS). Finally, ITS led the development of a new ITU-R Handbook that will guide users in the application and interpretation of propagation calculations used in the land mobile radio service.

In addition, ITS continued telecommunications research and engineering activities directed toward the development, implementation, and promulgation of user-oriented performance measures for integrated data, audio (including voice), video, and multimedia communication equipment and services. ITS continued to utilize its state-of-the-art integrated networks test bed and performance measurement laboratory to validate and optimize telecommunication performance standards. This research is aimed at developing user-oriented, technology-independent performance parameters and measurement methods for digital audio and high-speed data communication services. ITS continued related research in digital video communication performance supporting such emerging and future applications as video telephony and teleconferencing, computer-aided design and manufacturing, e-commerce, and interactive video distribution, and is continuing to integrate its prototype data, audio, and video performance measures to provide multimedia test capabilities. These user-oriented test capabilities are extremely valuable in implementing and optimizing the national and international information infrastructure, including the Next Generation Internet (NGI).
 

NTIA Silver Medalists

The Department of Commerce Gold and Silver Medal awards program provides an opportunity for the Department to acknowledge those employees whose accomplishments warrant special recognition. Staff from NTIA's Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) attended the Department's 51st Annual Honor Awards Ceremony to receive Silver Medals on December 7. Chris Holloway was honored for major technical contributions that advance the knowledge of electromagnetic theory and its application to commercial electronic systems. Steve Voran was honored for significant technical contributions that radically advance the state-of-the-art in objective speech quality measurement and assessment.

New Assistant Secretary for NTIA

Larry Irving, assistant secretary of Commerce for Telecommunications and Information for six years, left to pursue opportunities in the private sector. He was succeeded by Gregory L. Rohde, formerly Senior Legislative Assistant to Senator Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota.

Irving, the first African American to head NTIA and its longest serving Administrator, was appointed in 1993. While at NTIA, Irving earned a reputation as an international leader in telecommunications and information policy. He worked to open foreign markets to the U.S. telecommunications industry, secure better protection for consumers and open up advanced telecommunications services to rural and other underserved areas of the country. Irving played a major role in the Administration's initiatives to promote Electronic Commerce and the Information Superhighway. He initiated NTIA's landmark Federal Government survey series, "The Digital Divide: Falling Through the Net. He played a major role in the efforts to bring about the most sweeping reform of U.S. telecommunications law in 60 years, the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He was also a key proponent of policies designed to promote diversity in the commercial broadcast arena and to increase opportunities for minorities and women in the emerging digital economy.

NTIA on the World-Wide Web

To expand electronic access to public information, NTIA established one of the first Federal government World-Wide Web (WWW) servers (http://www.ntia.doc.gov). All of NTIA's publicly available documents are posted on this web site. The following general principles guide NTIA's managers on electronic information dissemination; these principles apply to all NTIA electronic information dissemination efforts, regardless of specific form.

NTIA On-Line Information will be:

1. Designed for the external user; i.e., constituent ease of use, interactivity, and usefulness of the information will be the overriding priority.

2. Accurate, Timely, Complete, and Relevant.

3. Information should be available on-line no later than when it is available in hard copy and preferably before the hard copy is available.

4. Limited to organizational and programmatic information.

NTIA's efforts to develop this site were recognized with Vice President Gore's Hammer Award.

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 e-mail to <smaloney@ntia.doc.gov> or <cfranz@ntia.doc.gov>.