For Immediate Release                                                          Contact: Clyde Ensslin

August 7, 2003                                                                                                   202-482-7002





               The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced a plan for implementation in the United States of the Final Acts of the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-03).


               The WRC-03 Implementation Plan was issued following the biannual summit today at the FCC between FCC Chairman Michael Powell and Assistant Secretary of Commerce and NTIA Administrator Nancy Victory and their staffs. It will ensure that federal government, state and local governments, and commercial spectrum users promptly derive maximum benefits from the WRC-03 results.  This summit plan follows the Memorandum of Understanding between the FCC and NTIA that Powell and Victory signed in January 2003 for coordination of spectrum issues involving both federal and non-federal users.


            The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), under the auspices of the United Nations, convened WRC-03 from June 9 to July 4, 2003, in Geneva, Switzerland with over 140 countries participating. The U.S. delegation was led by Ambassador Janice Obuchowski. WRC-2003 considered 48 conference agenda items concerning the deployment, growth and evolving use of a broad range of spectrum-based services.  The changes adopted by the WRC 2003 will directly impact global spectrum use for government and commercial use of the spectrum.  The U.S. achieved its goals at WRC-03 and the FCC, in concert with NTIA, has developed a plan to implement the results of the Conference.


             “The WRC-03 Implementation Plan reflects the continued cooperation and coordination between the FCC and NTIA,” said Powell.  “I am pleased that only weeks after the end of the Conference itself, we have developed a plan to move forward expeditiously and bring the benefits of the WRC-03 results to commercial and governmental spectrum users.  The ultimate beneficiaries will be the American public through increased public safety and enhanced consumer services.”


            The success of the U.S. delegation to the WRC has paved the way for new allocations of additional spectrum around the world,” said Victory.  “We are pleased to work closely with the FCC to initiate proceedings to implement these changes as soon as possible.  Implementing the recommended changes will stimulate our economy and will help us maintain the global leadership position the U.S. has established in telecommunications and technology.”


            Under the WRC-03 Implementation Plan, the FCC, in coordination with NTIA, plans to consider the results of WRC-03 in several key proceedings: 


Fourth Quarter 2003


o        Revisions of Parts 2 and 15 of the Commission’s rules to permit Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U‑NII) devices in the 5 GHz band -- Report and Order


o        Procedures to govern the use of satellite earth stations on board vessels -- Notice of Proposed Rulemaking


o        Amendment of Parts 2, 25, and 87 of the Commission's rules to implement decisions from World Radiocommunication Conferences concerning frequency bands between 28 MHz and 36 GHz and to otherwise update the rules in this frequency range -- Report and Order


o        Extension of the allocation to the mobile-satellite service (Earth-to-space) on a secondary basis in the band 14-14.5 GHz to permit operation of the aeronautical mobile-satellite service—Report and Order


First Quarter 2004


o        Allocations and regulatory issues related to the space science services and review all Earth exploration-satellite service and space research service allocations between 35 and 38 GHz


o        Results concerning the radionavigation-satellite service (additional issues not covered by the 28 MHz-36 GHz Report and Order) – Notice of Proposed Rulemaking


o        Amendment of Part 101 relating to fixed services at 37.5‑43.5 GHz -- Second Report and Order and Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking


o        Radiolocation allocation upgrades in the 2.9-3.1 GHz band – Notice of Proposed Rulemaking


o        Omnibus proceeding to address several allocation matters resulting from WRC-03-Notice of Proposed Remaking


Second Quarter 2004



o        Amendment of Parts 13 and 80 of the Commission’s rules concerning maritime distress and safety communications -- Second Report and Order, Sixth Report and Order, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking


Fourth Quarter 2004


o        Regulatory and technical provisions for satellite networks using highly elliptical orbits – Notice of Proposed Remaking


There are a number of other WRC-03 agenda items and associated issues that may require additional proceedings.  NTIA and FCC staff will develop a schedule for the remaining issues by year end 2003.  These include:






            The Communications Act assigns joint jurisdiction for spectrum management to the FCC and the NTIA at the Department of Commerce.  The FCC is responsible for non-Federal spectrum uses, e.g., broadcast, commercial, public safety, and state and local government users, and NTIA is responsible for Federal spectrum uses.


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