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Spectrum Management

Protecting a Vital, Limited Resource


Many Federal agencies use radio frequency spectrum to perform vital operations. NTIA manages the Federal government's use of spectrum, ensuring that America's domestic and international spectrum needs are met while making efficient use of this limited resource. NTIA carries out this responsibility with assistance and advice from the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee and by:

  • establishing and issuing policy regarding allocations and regulations governing the Federal spectrum use;
  • developing plans for the peacetime and wartime use of the spectrum;
  • preparing for, participating in, and implementing the results of international radio conferences;
  • assigning frequencies;
  • maintaining spectrum use databases;
  • reviewing Federal agencies' new telecommunications systems and certifying that spectrum will be available;
  • providing the technical engineering expertise needed to perform specific spectrum resources assessments and automated computer capabilities needed to carry out these investigations;
  • participating in all aspects of the Federal government's communications related emergency readiness activities; and
  • participating in Federal government telecommunications and automated information systems security activities.

Related content

Transforming Spectrum Sharing: NTIA Seeks to Fund Innovation in Software Defined Radio Technology

May 14, 2024

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

NTIA’s new round of funding from the $1.5 billion Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund presents a unique opportunity to advance spectrum-sensing technology, in turn potentially driving more efficient use of airwaves for the public and private sectors.

Spectrum sharing is an effective way to increase commercial access to spectrum resources while protecting and enhancing government operations. Spectrum-sensing technology incorporated into a sharing system or framework could protect incumbent operators while making more spectrum available for other beneficial uses. These sensor technologies would be able to detect and identify government radio signals among all of the various radio signals and avoid interfering with them.  

One objective of this funding opportunity’s second focus area is to propel the development of advanced Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology that meets the needs of modern mobile networks. Projects funded under this initiative will target several critical advancements:

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