Press Releases

Kuster Introduces Legislation To Keep Pace with Wireless Technology Growth

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, Representative Annie Kuster (NH-2) and Representative Troy Balderson (OH-12) introduced the bipartisan Spectrum Coordination Act, which seeks to foster a more collaborative spectrum coordination agreement between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

“Spectrum technology holds tremendous opportunities for our communications systems and it is essential that we fully utilize this resource,” said Rep. Kuster. “I am proud to help introduce this legislation to ensure government agencies are coordinating effectively to foster innovation and growth.”

“Spectrum is at the epicenter of virtually all modern wireless communication,” said Rep. Balderson. “From the cellphone in your hand to the radio in your car, our connectivity is built upon efficient spectrum coordination. Our effort helps ensure uninterrupted access to these modern conveniences now and into the future.”

Radio spectrum is a limited resource, necessary to provide wireless services for the American people. These services include mobile phone communications, radio and television broadcasting, satellite services, and more. 

Prior to 2003, the FCC and the NTIA had been coordinating on spectrum issues based on a 1940 memorandum of understanding (MOU). Technological advancements throughout the 1980s and 1990s forced the two agencies to reevaluate and sign the 2003 MOU. Rapid wireless expansion throughout the early 2000s has required enhanced coordination between these agencies, but it was not until last year that the FCC and NTIA found it necessary to modernize how they coordinate on these issues.

The Spectrum Coordination Act will require the FCC and the NTIA to update their MOU on spectrum coordination every four years and requires that these agencies take into account constantly changing technological, procedural, and policy circumstances. In addition to this, the bill will also require the NTIA to make public any concerns they have with a potential spectrum auction and what government agencies may be impacted and require the FCC to publicly disclose what concerns were raised by the NTIA and how they are addressing those concerns.