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Digital Economy Accounted for 6.9 Percent of GDP in 2017

April 05, 2019 by NTIA

This blog was cross-posted on BEA's website.

The digital economy accounted for 6.9 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, or $1.35 trillion, in 2017, according to a new batch of statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis

How does that compare with traditional U.S. industries? The digital economy ranked just below professional, scientific, and technical services, which accounted for 7.4 percent of GDP, and just above wholesale trade, with a 6.0 percent share. 

BEA chart

New BEA data also show that:

Supporting the President’s Call to Action Against Opioid Abuse

April 03, 2019 by David Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator

Fighting opioid abuse is a major priority of the Trump Administration. Nearly $6 billion in new funding over the past two years has gone into multiple programs to stop the flow of these dangerous drugs, and help those struggling with addiction. The President’s call to action resulted in the Justice Department’s shutting down the largest “darknet” for the online distribution of drugs in 2017.

We’re proud to announce a new step in the online battle against illegal opioid distribution. The Food and Drug Administration and NTIA have joined in a novel approach to work with domain name industry players to curb online availability and sales of illegal opioids.

As part of the effort, Neustar, the company that administers the .us top level domain on behalf of the Department of Commerce, announced it will step up enforcement of those who violate its existing ban on the sale or distribution of illegal opioids.

NTIA is Seeking New Member for FirstNet Board

April 17, 2019 by NTIA

NTIA, on behalf of the First Responder Network Authority, is seeking a new board member for a seat that will become vacant in August, according to a Federal Register notice. The 15-member FirstNet board includes 12 non-permanent members, the Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S. Attorney General and Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Prospective candidates must have expertise or experience in at least one of the following areas: public safety, network, technical, and financial. Expressions of interest must be postmarked or electronically transmitted on or before April 26, 2019.

American Broadband Initiative to Expand Connectivity for all Americans

February 13, 2019 by David Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator


ABI logo


Expanding America’s broadband connectivity is critical to our nation’s economy, and a top priority for President Trump and the Department of Commerce. Today, we join with our partners in government to announce the American Broadband Initiative (ABI), a comprehensive effort to stimulate increased private sector investment in broadband.

NTIA is proud to share leadership of the ABI, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the White House Offices of American Innovation, Management and Budget, Science and Technology Policy, and the National Economic Council. In a report released today, over 20 federal agencies set out strategies for streamlining federal permitting, leveraging federal assets, and maximizing the effectiveness of federal funding for broadband.

We congratulate the Department of Interior on the launch of the new Joint Overview Established Location Map, which pulls data related to federal lands and assets from multiple agencies into a single map. This map will help the broadband industry more easily identify the location of available assets. It is an important first step in one of the Initiative’s core priorities: making it easier for the private sector to leverage federal assets to promote investment.

ITS Marks Next Milestone Toward Spectrum Sharing in 3.5 GHz

December 12, 2018 by NTIA

Engineers at NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) have completed performance certification lab testing of Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) equipment – the sensors that will help enable dynamic sharing in the 3.5 GHz band between U.S. Navy radars and Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) devices.

Completing the testing marks another significant step toward making sharing in the 3.5 GHz band a reality. The innovative approach to spectrum management that also includes the Spectrum Access System (SAS) has the potential to make significant spectrum resources available to meet our national broadband needs while preserving access to this critical spectrum for naval operations.

The 3.5 GHz band offers a unique mix of capacity and coverage capabilities, making it a potential ‘sweet spot’ for innovative services including 5G. The SAS-ESC combination successfully unlocking dynamic sharing could provide new tools in NTIA’s efforts to advance the nation’s 21st century spectrum imperatives while protecting vital federal missions.

Digital Divide Among School-Age Children Narrows, but Millions Still Lack Internet Connections

December 11, 2018 by Rafi Goldberg, Policy Analyst, Office of Policy Analysis and Development

America continues to make significant strides in reducing the digital divide among school-age children, according to NTIA’s November 2017 Internet Use Survey. In 2017, 14 percent of the U.S. population between ages 6 and 17 lived in homes with no Internet service, down from 19 percent in 2015 (see Figure 1). These are encouraging numbers that echo our previous report on the narrowing digital divide.

Figure 1: School-Age Children Lacking Internet Service at Home

Still, significant challenges remain, especially for the approximately 7 million school-age children that lived in households without home Internet service in 2017. These children were also less likely than their peers to use the Internet from other locations.

Among children in offline households, just 16 percent went online while at school, and only 5 percent used the Internet from a library or community center, compared with 60 percent and 20 percent of children with home Internet service, respectively. In fact, only 20 percent of school-age children living in offline households used the Internet at all, leaving nearly 6 million of the 7 million children even less connected as schools increasingly rely upon online resources for communication with parents and instruction.

NTIA Asks Federal Agencies to Assess Future Spectrum Needs

November 30, 2018 by NTIA

As a critical step in delivering on President Trump’s call for development of a national spectrum strategy, NTIA has asked federal agencies to report their future spectrum needs over the next 15 years. The reports will help ensure the federal government is optimizing utilization of the nation’s spectrum resources and meeting the needs of spectrum users, including critical federal missions that serve the American public. Agencies must submit their initial reports by Feb. 21, 2019 and provide final reports by April 23, 2019.

The federal spectrum assessment is one of several tasks in the Presidential Memorandum aimed at building a sustainable, forward-looking national strategy to ensure America’s continued leadership across technology sectors. Transparency in how spectrum is being utilized and collaboration among stakeholders are key elements of the Administration’s approach.  

To that end, NTIA intends to post a public summary of the reports on its website to the extent permitted by law.

For further information, see the memorandum and guidance document.

Road Map: Building a More Resilient Internet

November 29, 2018 by Diane Rinaldo, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, and Kevin Stine, Chief of the Applied Cybersecurity Division in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Information Technology Laboratory

Botnets and automated, distributed attacks threaten our nation’s Internet infrastructure. Solving this and other cybersecurity challenges is a top priority for the Trump Administration.

To address these threats, the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security have developed a road map that charts a path forward, setting out steps to stop the cyber threat to our internet infrastructure. It outlines a plan for coordination among government, civil society, technologists, academics, and industry sectors to develop a comprehensive strategy for fighting these threats.

The road map builds on the Botnet Report published by the departments in May as required by the Presidential Executive Order on Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure. The government and private sector spent a year developing the report in an open and transparent process. The report maps out an ecosystem-wide view of the botnet threat, and lays out actions that could dramatically reduce the threat of botnets and similar attacks.

ITS Releases Best Practices Handbook for Propagation Measurements

November 26, 2018 by NTIA

Behind every initiative to share spectrum are models of how radio waves in a particular band travel, or propagate, through different environments. How far will a signal travel before it becomes too faint to be useful or to interfere with another signal? What happens when a signal encounters a tree, or a hill, or a house? If we can accurately model how radio waves will behave, it can dramatically increase the odds that sharing mechanisms will work.

Accurately measuring real-world spectrum usage and the performance of spectrum-dependent systems is the best way to improve and validate propagation models. NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) has been a primary resource in designing and conducting measurement campaigns, applying its decades of experience to ensuring measurements are accurate and provide meaningful data.

Now, ITS is releasing a handbook of best practices for propagation measurements, outlining how to calibrate, document, verify, and validate these measurements.

This handbook – “Best Practices for Radio Propagation Measurements” – builds on working papers developed while ITS was working with the Defense Spectrum Organization (DSO) to help improve propagation models used by the DSO’s Spectrum Sharing Test & Demonstration program.   

NTIA Co-Hosts Summit for Carolinas’ HBCUs on Enhancing Broadband Opportunities

November 23, 2018 by Maureen Lewis, NTIA Director of Minority Telecommunications Development

Exemplifying the power of partnerships, NTIA recently teamed up with the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Johnson C. Smith University to convene a broadband summit for HBCUs in North and South Carolina. On Nov. 15-17, faculty and administrators from 17 of the states’ combined 19 HBUCs, as well as government and industry representatives, gathered in Charlotte, N.C., for the fifth annual meeting of the Carolinas Alliance for Success in Education (CASE).

The summit’s title, “Smart HBCUs Disrupting the Digital Divide: Connecting Campuses to Communities through Broadband,” reflected a focus on the technology’s ability to fuel HBCUs as engines of economic growth.  Former Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn opened the summit by challenging the audience to exploit broadband connectivity to leverage the legacy of HBUCs as essential community anchors that educate students and serve their neighboring communities. 

Jonathan Holifield, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on HBCUs, emphasized the integral role of HBCUs in advancing America’s global competiveness.  He urged North and South Carolina HBCUs to prepare students to become “dual pipelines of productivity” as higher impact employees creating value for their employers and higher growth entrepreneurs of innovative enterprises.