Koh Named to Head U.S. WRC-19 Delegation

Grace Koh, who was special assistant to President Donald Trump for Technology, Telecom, and Cyber-Security Policy, has been named to be an Administration point person on 5G policy, according to the top Trump communications executives who will be working with her.

She was named Tuesday (March 5) to head up the U.S. delegation to the WRC-19 international conference, which reviews and, if necessary, revises the treaty that governs use of radio-frequency spectrum, which is both radio and TV, as well as the orbits of satellites.

It is being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, starting Oct. 28.

Before joining the Administration, Koh was deputy chief counsel to the House Communications Subcommittee and, before that, policy counsel at Cox Enterprises dealing with both cable and broadcast properties.

"I congratulate Grace on her appointment to lead the U.S. delegation to WRC-19," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "Grace is exceptionally well-qualified, and her work will be critical to ensuring that American leadership in 5G, satellite, and all advanced communications services continues. I look forward to working with her in this new role.”

David Redl, assistant secretary for communications and information and NTIA administrator and former chief counsel to that same House Communications Subcommittee, said he looks forward to working with Koh as well. NTIA oversees government spectrum holders, versus the FCC, which oversees private spectrum users.

"Her leadership will help ensure America is best positioned to lead in development of 5G, satellite, and other future communications technologies.”

Winning in 5G is one of the President's stated priorities, and he is not alone, with Republicans and some Dems acknowledging rolling out a national 5G network, preferable by a commercial entity rather than some kind of nationalized network.

“I enthusiastically applaud the Administration’s selection and official appointment of Grace Koh as head of the U.S. delegation to the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC)," said FCC commissioner Michael O'Rielly, a bit of a policy wonk on international spectrum issues and yet another former Hill communications staffer (on the Senate side). "Ms. Koh is an inspiring and sound selection, especially given her deep understanding of communications policy, knowledge of the relevant parties, and unflappable demeanor. Knowing that WRC-19 is expected to be incredibly complex and challenging given the heightened stakes involving the future of global 5G wireless services, Ms. Koh’s unquestionable qualifications and background will serve her and the entire U.S. delegation well," he said. 

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.