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NTIA Forming Spectrum Advisory Body to Provide Guidance on RF Use

The Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration is forming the Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee to advise the Commerce Department on spectrum policy initiatives to improve management of the nation's airwaves. Assistant Commerce Secretary Michael D. Gallagher, who made the announcement, invited the private sector to join the Committee, saying, "State-of-the-art research and innovative product development have made the United States a global leader in communications technology. Through this advisory committee, innovators and experts from industry and government will have direct involvement in implementing recommendations that will ensure the U.S. remains a world leader."

A Department of Commerce news release stated, "This initiative incorporates and builds upon previous policy breakthroughs such as the authorization of ultrawideband, a promising new technology for innovative devices; the planned deployment of 90 MHz of radio spectrum for advanced wireless services; globally-harmonized allocation of 5 GHz spectrum for unlicensed Wireless Local Area Network systems; and responsible deployment of broadband over power lines, or BPL."

The committee was formed in response to a November 2004 Executive Memorandum that directed the heads of executive departments and agencies to implement recommendations from a high-level interagency task force. One of the recommendations was for NTIA to form an advisory committee that represented state, regional and local sectors, industry, academia and consumer groups. The news release said, "Committee members will offer expertise and perspective on reforms to enable new technologies and services, including reforms that expedite the American public's access to broadband services, public safety, digital television and long-range spectrum planning."

It will be interesting to see what recommendations they come up with for off-air digital television. For information on nominations for committee membership, see the Request for Nominations, Spectrum Management Advisory Committee. Additional information can also be found on the NTIA Web site.