CTIA: NTIA Should Get Out Of Spectrum Management Business

Wireless companies told the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee that the National Telecommunications & Information Administration should get out of the spectrum management business.

Currently, the FCC and NTIA divvy up those duties, with the FCC overseeing commercial spectrum and NTIA government spectrum.

In comments to the committee in response to a white paper on spectrum management, CTIA: The Wireless Association said that FCC and NTIA have to coordinate with each other, their spectrum management has been "inconsistent."

"In order to overcome these duplications and inefficiencies, a single entity should be responsible for spectrum policy (establishing national spectrum goals and strategies) and implementation authority (licensing spectrum use)," CTIA says.

NTIA would not be cut out entirely. It is the President's chief communications policy advisor, and could continue in that role and advocate for spectrum on behalf of federal agencies.

CTIA put in a plug for licensed spectrum. Cable, by contrast, is pushing for as much unlicensed as can be freed up. That is because cable ops are boosting their mobile broadband play in competition to wireless via unlicensed spectrum that allows them to wire broadband subs on the go through hundreds of thousands of Wi-Fi hot spots.

CTIA says that exclusive licensing should be the preferred way to go since it provides the "certainty" needed to invest and innovate. "CTIA recognizes the importance of unlicensed spectrum, but suggests spectrum allocation for wireless use should foremost consist of dedicated, exclusive spectrum for commercial use."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.