As part of NTIA’s's role managing the Federal Government’s use of radio-frequency spectrum, the Office of Spectrum Management (OSM) represents the spectrum-related interests of the Executive Branch, the federal agencies, and the United States as a whole, at regional and international spectrum policy-making forums. In doing so, NTIA works closely with the Department of State, the Federal Communications Commission, and other federal agencies.
Most activities involve the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for information and communications technologies (ICTs). Every three to four years, the ITU convenes the World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) to review and revise the international Radio Regulations (RR), an international treaty governing the global use of the radio-frequency spectrum. The RR also sets technical and regulatory conditions to promote interference-free operations. The United States is one of 193 Member States of the ITU.
The ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) is the focal point for developing technical recommendations for international spectrum use. The ITU-R facilitates international collaboration to ensure the rational, equitable, efficient, and economical use of spectrum and satellite orbits. NTIA leads federal preparations for ITU-R Study Groups to develop technical studies and policies for these ITU-R meetings and, ultimately, WRCs.
Another vital function the ITU performs is international frequency registration. Countries provide the ITU, via station registration, spectrum use information to gain international protections and coordination assistance. Registration serves as a means to deliver equitable access to spectrum and interference-free operations. NTIA OSM, in collaboration with the FCC, registers U.S. satellite networks with the ITU and leads coordination meetings with foreign and domestic administrations or network operators to ensure harmonious spectrum use.
In addition to the ITU, regional bodies play an important role in equitable access to spectrum and economic development. The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) of the Organization of American States is the regional body that strives to promote regional harmonization, economic development, and other common spectrum-related interests within the Americas. NTIA leads the federal preparation for proposals and technical work related to CITEL. NTIA collaborates with FCC and State Department to represent federal, commercial, and U.S. interests while developing regional proposals and views to WRCs.
NTIA conducts spectrum-related international outreach and training programs for developing countries and federal agencies.
International Telecommunications Advisory Committee – Radiocommunications (ITAC-R)