NTIA Press Releases
For Immediate Release
November 13, 2003
Contact: Clyde Ensslin or
Ranjit de Silva, 202-482-7002


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced that they had completed the first phase of the implementation plan for the Final Acts of the 2003 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-03).   As specified in the WRC-03 Implementation Plan issued on August 7, 2003, all of the Commission actions targeted for completion by year end 2003 have been implemented.  These actions will ensure that federal government, state and local governments, and private sector spectrum users promptly derive maximum benefits from the WRC-03 results. 

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 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, developed a plan to implement the results of the conference.

Under the WRC-03 Implementation Plan, the FCC, in coordination with NTIA, committed to considering the results of WRC-03 in several key proceedings.  For the Fourth Quarter 2003, these proceedings include:

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; and

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.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell said, “I am pleased to recognize the completion of this first milestone of the WRC-03 implementation plan.  Taken together, these actions are a significant step toward extending the reach of the benefits of broadband communications -- to airplanes and ships, and, most importantly, to rural communities. At the same time, our success at meeting this goal reflects the positive results derived from continued cooperation and coordination with NTIA.  Working together, we have achieved a win-win – opening the door for new and innovative commercial services while safeguarding the critical missions of federal spectrum users,” Powell said.

Acting NTIA Administrator Michael D. Gallagher said, "With the FCC, we are moving quickly to implement policy improvements that will benefit all spectrum users.  Collaborative teamwork like that represented in this Order yields one clear winner-the American people.  By staying on schedule, we will maintain the global leadership position of the U.S. in telecommunications and technology."

The Communications Act assigns joint jurisdiction for spectrum management to the FCC and the NTIA.  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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