You are here

NTIA Blog

NTIA Releases New Broadband Availability Map Pilot for Policymakers

October 02, 2019 by Andy Spurgeon, Chief, Operations Division, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications

National Broadband Availability Map

One of the most significant challenges to expanding broadband connectivity is determining which parts of the country remain unconnected. Getting this information would help states and local communities – and the providers they work with -- more accurately understand where new infrastructure is needed.

Last year, Congress asked NTIA to develop a National Broadband Availability Map to address this problem. Working with an initial group of eight states, we’ve released a pilot version of the map, a geographic information system platform that allows for the visualization of federal, state, and commercially available data sets. The map will be made available exclusively to state and federal partners, as it includes non-public data that may be business sensitive or have licensing restrictions.

The eight partner states include California, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Utah. These states participate in NTIA’s State Broadband Leaders Network, and have active broadband plans or programs. As the pilot moves forward, NTIA will test the map's functionality and expand it to other states, and add data from additional partners, federal agencies, industry and accessible commercial datasets.

Moving Toward a More Transparent Software Supply Chain

September 30, 2019 by Allan Friedman, Director of Cybersecurity Initiatives, Office of Policy Analysis and Development

Earlier this month, NTIA convened the latest in a series of multistakeholder meetings on software component transparency. For more than a year, stakeholders have been exploring this issue through four working groups established during the July 2018 kickoff meeting. The broader community meets periodically to share progress and encourage feedback through in-person and virtual meetings.

Most modern software is not written completely from scratch, but includes existing components, modules, and libraries from the open source and commercial software world. Modern development practices such as code reuse, and a dynamic IT marketplace with acquisitions and mergers, make it challenging to track the use of software components.

The Internet of Things and the emergence of Cyber-Physical Systems, which integrate computation, networking, and physical processes, compound this phenomenon, as new organizations, enterprises and innovators take on the role of software developer to add “smart” features or connectivity to their products. Although the majority of libraries and components do not have known vulnerabilities, the sheer quantity of software means that some software products ship with vulnerable or out-of-date components.

Newly Convened CSMAC to Hold Public Meeting Oct. 1

September 10, 2019 by NTIA

The first meeting of newly appointed members of the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee will be held on Oct. 1. The committee includes 30 outside experts who advise the Assistant Secretary of Commerce on a range of spectrum policy and technology issues. Two co-chairs lead the committee: Jennifer Warren, Vice President, Technology Policy & Regulation, Lockheed Martin; and Charla Rath, independent consultant and former Verizon executive.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross selected the committee members based on their technical background and expertise, as well as a diversity and balance in points of view, consistent with the CSMAC Membership Balance Plan. The Oct. 1 meeting will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (EDT) at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, 1111 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington D.C.

For further information on the meeting, contact David J. Reed, Designated Federal Officer, at (202) 482-5955 or dreed@ntia.doc.gov; and/or visit NTIA's website at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/csmac. An agenda will be published prior to the meeting, which is open to the public.

NTIA Data: Two-thirds of U.S. Internet Users Do Not Participate in the Sharing Economy

August 21, 2019 by By Amy Robinson, Intern, and Rafi Goldberg, Policy Analyst, Office of Policy Analysis and Development

The Internet has fundamentally reshaped how Americans live, work and communicate. These changes have become more pronounced with speedier wireless Internet services, and increased use of mobile devices. One recent trend is the emergent “sharing economy” where people are buying, selling and trading goods and services with each other. Examples including ride-hailing services, lodging and e-commerce.

In our most recent Internet Use Survey, conducted in 2017, NTIA included questions about participation in the sharing economy for the first time. The results show that a third of Internet users in the U.S. reported selling goods or requesting or offering services from others through online platforms. This compares with the significant majority of Internet users – 69 percent – who reported using the Internet for more traditional e-commerce activities such as online shopping or travel reservations.

Sharing economy participants tend to be younger, have higher incomes and education levels, and live in metropolitan areas, our data reveal.

Internet users were also much more likely to request sharing, or peer-to-peer, services than provide their own services or sell goods. While 26 percent reported requesting services, only 6 percent of Internet users offered their own services and 11 percent reported selling their own goods online.

Exploring demographics

NTIA to Convene 2019 Spectrum Policy Symposium

August 12, 2019 by NTIA

Spectrum policy leaders from the Administration, private industry and federal government will participate in NTIA’s 2019 Spectrum Policy Symposium on Sept. 10 at the National Press Club. The program will provide updates on efforts to develop the National Spectrum Strategy as required by the Oct. 25, 2018 Presidential Memorandum on “Developing a Sustainable Spectrum Strategy for America’s Future.”

Admission is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can register via NTIA’s EventBrite page. For additional information or questions, email spectrumsymposium@ntia.doc.gov.

Smart City Expo Draws Broad Audience Trading Tips on Making Cities Smarter

July 22, 2019 by NTIA

How can a smart city improve communities? At the recent Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) Expo, city officials across the country dug into this challenge. The three-day meeting welcomed shared stories about smart city projects that are helping communities improve agriculture and health care, reduce traffic congestion, increase energy efficiency, and speed emergency response times.

“Smart tech can deliver drastic improvements for our communities,” said NTIA Acting Assistant Secretary Diane Rinaldo, who talked about the benefits of interagency collaboration at the event. NTIA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate co-sponsor the annual meeting.

Final Tests Completed on 3.5 GHz Spectrum Sharing Model

July 19, 2019 by Keith Gremban, Director of the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences

On Thursday, NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) released final test reports to commercial entities that participated in spectrum sharing testing on a model that would allow commercial and military use in the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band. The completed tests will drive progress toward initial commercial deployments in the band, prized for its excellent mix of capacity and coverage capabilities. With 4G LTE technology for the band available today, industry has already begun to develop specifications to support 5G deployments.

NTIA’s ITS oversaw rigorous testing, which included using a wide variety of scenarios and situations to test a Spectrum Access System’s (SAS) ability to manage CBRS devices while protecting incumbent federal and commercial operations in the 3.5 GHz band. The Federal Communications Commission anticipates relying on the test reports to certify that a SAS is complying with its rules.

Last year, ITS conducted the certification testing on Environmental Sensing Capability sensors for the CBRS band. The ESC sensors are intended to work with the SASs to enable dynamic sharing and were certified by the FCC in late April 2019. The completion of both the SAS and the ESC testing continues a 100-year tradition of ITS performing independent research and engineering in telecommunications to advance efficient spectrum use.

NTIA Files Petition to Update Telecommunications Service Priority

July 17, 2019 by Shawn Cochran, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Policy Analysis and Development

Today, NTIA filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to update the rules governing Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) so that it better reflects current technologies and industry practices.  NTIA filed the petition and a draft set of updated rules on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

TSP is a program managed by the DHS’s Emergency Communications Division (ECD). It supports Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial entities; critical infrastructure service providers; first responders; 9-1-1 call centers; health care providers; and other organizations that use telecommunications to perform national security and emergency preparedness functions by providing prioritized installation or restoration of eligible telecommunications services. TSP helps ensure that the most critical telecommunications services will be available as quickly as possible.

The rules governing TSP were developed in the late 1980s and have not been updated since the program began. While the purpose of TSP remains fundamentally unchanged, the program has needed to evolve to accommodate new technologies as well as meet the increasing communications needs of the national security and emergency preparedness community.

Spectrum Sharing Testing Reports Shared with SAS Administrators

June 25, 2019 by NTIA

NTIA’s engineering lab has shared Spectrum Access System (SAS) laboratory test reports with the commercial entities that participated in spectrum sharing testing at the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences. The reports are a critical part of advancing the sharing model in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service 3.5 GHz band.

The reports include a comprehensive analysis and interpretation of the test results to ensure accuracy and consistency. This work adds to already substantial work in progress in developing the 3.5 GHz band, which is prime mid-band spectrum that offers a mix of capacity and coverage capabilities. The SAS manages the environment where potential commercial spectrum systems will operate. The Federal Communications Commission anticipates relying on the test reports in certifying that an SAS is in compliance with its rules.

Veteran Spectrum Engineer to Lead Office of Spectrum Management

June 07, 2019 by NTIA

Charles Cooper, a seasoned executive and spectrum engineer with more than 25 years of broad federal and private sector experience, will become the new Associate Administrator of NTIA’s Office of Spectrum Management on July 1. He joins the agency after six years at the Federal Communications Commission directing radio frequency enforcement activities.

Before joining the FCC, Cooper served as senior engineer and partner with du Treil, Lundin, and Rackley, Inc., an engineering firm specializing in radio frequency coordination and design. Cooper is a recognized subject matter expert on engineering principles applicable to a wide mix of communications technologies.

Cooper will lead a dedicated team of recognized spectrum experts whose many years of experience and strong interagency relationships are essential to NTIA’s mission of effectively managing federal spectrum. He will assist the Commerce Department with development of the National Spectrum Strategy, and coordinate interagency preparation for the pivotal World Radiocommunication Conference this fall that sets rules for global use of the radiofrequency spectrum.  

Pages