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Testimony of Assistant Secretary Redl on Reauthorization of NTIA

March 06, 2018

Testimony of David J. Redl

Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
United States Department of Commerce

On Reauthorization of NTIA
Before the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
Committee on Energy and Commerce
U.S. House of Representatives
March 6, 2018

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

NTIA is the Executive Branch agency responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information policy.  NTIA’s programs and policymaking focus on a broad range of issues that include spectrum management and availability, broadband connectivity, and the growth and stability of the Internet and the Internet-enabled economy.

The tremendous growth in demand for wireless communications by consumers, businesses, and government agencies requires innovative approaches to increase spectrum access to both commercial and Federal users. NTIA evaluates and promotes efficient use of spectrum by Government users, recommends reallocation for commercial use where possible, and encourages sharing between commercial and government users. These actions support the commercial sector’s development of next generation wireless services while also satisfying the congressionally mandated missions of all Federal agencies.

Communications research also plays a critical role identifying innovative approaches to increase spectrum access and sharing opportunities.  NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) provides critical scientific research on spectrum capability, spectrum management approaches (e.g., spectrum sharing) and spectrum-enabled technology development and testing for both Federal agencies and private industry partners. NTIA has a statutory directive to further scientific knowledge related to telecommunications, particularly with respect to radio spectrum, and is expanding collaborative research and development in advanced communications technologies to support commercial and government applications. NTIA’s work will advance research, development, testing, and evaluation to enhance wireless efficiencies.

High data rate, or broadband, communications have become integral in fueling a dynamic economy, driving commerce, enriching education, enhancing health care, and improving public safety.  NTIA continues to address demand by state, local, and tribal governments for technical assistance and hands-on guidance in bringing broadband to American communities across the nation.  NTIA continues to respond to the demand for technical services and broadband leadership efforts by partnering with unserved and underserved communities, so that they can attract new business investments and spur economic growth.  NTIA’s strategy capitalizes on strong relationships with broadband providers, state and local organizations, innovation economy firms, non-profit organizations, foundations, and other Federal stakeholders.

In collaboration with other Commerce bureaus and Executive branch agencies, NTIA develops and advocates domestic and international policies that preserve the open Internet while advancing key U.S. interests.  NTIA advances U.S. interests in Internet policy against the backdrop of an ever-changing landscape of services, technologies, and increasingly global actors seeking to influence its future.  To that end, NTIA consults with a diverse array of stakeholders to inform America’s voice on Internet-related issues, including within government, to the American public, and to the world.  NTIA coordinates Executive Branch communications policy and represents the Administration’s policy to independent agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

The Internet is the greatest engine of communications and commerce the world has ever known. This is an exciting time to lead NTIA, which plays a vital role in many important areas of telecommunications. Whether it is broadband deployment, the digital economy, or managing our government spectrum resources, NTIA is at the forefront of preserving and advancing our information economy.