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NTIA Sets Course for Trump-Mandated Agency Spectrum Audit

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) has asked federal agencies to report in on their spectrum needs over the next 15 years.

That came in a guidance document Friday (Nov. 30) laying out the timetable and format for the information, which is being collected in implementing President Donald Trump's memorandum on a government spectrum strategy to free up more spectrum for 5G.

Initial agency reports are due Feb. 21, 2019; final reports are due April 23, 2019.

NTIA said it would separately provide guidance on assessing agencies' current spectrum use and will establish "an enduring process for the continued reporting of future spectrum requirements and current spectrum usage in order to ensure this information is reasonably up to date and to track development of advanced technologies."

Related: President Calls for National Spectrum Strategy

The President made clear that with the burgeoning need for spectrum for industry, the government has to make a concerted effort to free up more of its spectrum, including to make sure America wins in 5G. "Federal agencies must thoughtfully consider whether and how their spectrum-dependent mission needs might be met more efficiently and effectively, including through new technology and ingenuity," he wrote.

Item one on the President's memorandum was that, within 180 days, those agencies and departments, working with the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, the President's chief telecom policy adviser, have to report to the Secretary of Commerce (NTIA is under Commerce) on their future spectrum requirements as well as on a review of their current frequency assignments and usage. The secretary may release a summary of the report, but is not required to.