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An Update on Implementing the National Spectrum Strategy

April 25, 2024

By Charles Cooper, Associate Administrator, NTIA Office of Spectrum Management

NTIA is hard at work implementing the National Spectrum Strategy. First up: initiating technical studies of spectrum bands – including a process to streamline funding to federal agencies – and kicking off the exploration and demonstration of advanced spectrum management techniques including Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS).

On the band studies, NTIA is streamlining the pipeline plan process so that federal agencies can obtain funding from the Spectrum Relocation Fund (SRF)—what is commonly referred to as “pipeline” funding—for their studies.  Right away, we will be using this streamlined SRF process for both the Lower 3 GHz band and the 7/8 GHz band studies.  We expect that more than 10 federal agencies will seek funding, and our hope is this streamlined process will make the application process easier and quicker for these agencies.

Agency requests for SRF funds generally involve several steps.  

  • First, each agency submits a request for funding.  
  • Then, the Technical Panel, which is chaired by NTIA and includes representatives of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), reviews the funding requests.  
  • If approved by the Technical Panel, OMB notifies Congress and, after a mandatory 60-day waiting period, disperses the funds to each requesting agency.

NTIA is targeting October for distribution of the pipeline funds to the agencies, which would trigger a two-year countdown to complete the band studies and then issue reports.  This summer, in partnership with relevant agencies, we also will be standing-up external stakeholder meetings related to these band studies.  

Building on the Department of Defense’s Emerging Mid-Band Radar Spectrum Sharing (EMBRSS) study, and consistent with the National Spectrum Strategy, the Departments of Commerce and Defense will co-lead any follow-on studies to EMBRSS focusing on the 3.1-3.45 GHz band.  Additionally, NTIA and affected Federal agencies will collaboratively and jointly co-lead the studies of the 7/8 GHz band.

Regarding our other priority—DSS—DoD held a public meeting April 8 to begin a process of demonstrating potential DSS solutions that could enable sharing in the Lower 3 GHz band.  Although this effort hopefully will inform spectrum sharing in the future for this band and others, it is separate and apart from the Lower 3 GHz band study discussed above.  NTIA looks forward to co-leading this effort with DoD and collaborating with industry, academia, and other stakeholders to advance DSS.

As we are deep in our extensive efforts to organize implementation of the NSS, our updates might be less frequent for the next few months—but rest assured we are hard at work laying the foundation for its success.

Derek Khlopin, Deputy Associate Administrator for Spectrum Planning and Policy in the Office of Spectrum Management (OSM), is managing NTIA’s overall implementation of the NSS.  For questions or inquiries concerning these efforts, please contact Derek Khlopin.  For inquiries specific to the Lower 3 GHz band study, please contact OSM Associate Administrator Charles Cooper, and for the 7/8 GHz band study, please contact OSM Executive Director Scott Patrick. In the Assistant Secretary’s office, you can email Shiva Goel, our new Senior Advisor for spectrum.