The below paper from Digital Progress Institute and Public Knowledge aims to: 1) outline why the FCC is the appropriate authority to resolve commercial spectrum disputes; 2) outline how the interagency process works and the role the NTIA plays in resolving issues with government spectrum incumbents; and 3) demonstrate the importance of coordination by reviewing a few recent examples of government agencies circumventing this interagency process and the problems that has created.
The includes the following recommendations:
In the immediate term, it is essential that federal agencies:
- respect the role and expertise of the FCC to thwart any further incumbrances to rolling out 5G expeditiously; and
- leverage the traditional interagency process by submitting all federal spectrum concerns to the NTIA as opposed to forging individual complaints.
In the long term, Congress should consider whether to:
- update the Communications Act to codify the interagency process into statute akin to versions of the FCC-NITA MOU;
- reauthorize the FCC’s spectrum authority for ten more years; and
- provide more funding to the FCC and NTIA to hire more engineering resources, including funding for more engineering labs.