SpectrumX External Advisory Board meeting focuses on bringing federal stakeholders to the table

By Christina Clark

Addressing U.S. radio spectrum challenges with innovative technology and policy options is one of the main objectives of SpectrumX, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Spectrum Innovation Center. Bringing together multi-disciplinary expertise, convening discussions, and prioritizing project directions is a key way the center is working with stakeholders to advance research, policy outreach, education, and more.

In early November, members of the SpectrumX External Advisory Board (EAB), center leadership, and regulatory stakeholders gathered at the University of Notre Dame’s Washington Office to discuss the SpectrumX’s progress through 2022 and goals leading into 2023.

In-person interactions with representatives from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates non-federal spectrum use, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which regulates federal spectrum use, and the NSF were a top priority for the event. SpectrumX is funded through the NSF’s Spectrum Innovation Initiative (SII), which is enhanced in principle by a distinctive Memorandum of Agreement signed in February 2021 among the NSF, FCC, and NTIA to collaborate and ensure relevance and impact for the program. The EAB meeting provided an opportunity for all participants to better understand the agencies’ collective goals and plans, and to structure interactions going forward for success in practice.

“This meeting was a vital step in the evolution of SpectrumX to establish working relationships with key NTIA and FCC staff in the context of their agencies’ agreements with NSF,” said Dennis Roberson, Chair of the EAB and Chief Executive Officer of Roberson and Associates. “I was extremely pleased to get these conversations going.”

This past August, the FCC and NTIA updated their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase the coordination between the two agencies. One aspect of the MOU is looking to enhance long term planning between the two national spectrum regulators and ensuring spectrum policy decisions are made based on the best available data and evidence.

SpectrumX EAB member Janice Obuchowski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Technologies, believes “The new MOU sets a very positive tone for the ongoing relationship between the FCC and NTIA. Radio spectrum access has never been more important to our nation, including to a range of U.S. Government users and our private sector.”

The center and EAB constructed a framework that will enable regular collaboration between the FCC, NTIA and the center so that the center can align its activities with national priorities. The meeting set the stage to further engage the U.S. government in the center’s efforts.

The EAB meeting also provided a chance to share center highlights from Year 1, and for the EAB and stakeholders to learn about what was being planned for Year 2. 

Updates were reported from projects across several working groups. The gathering also provided a space for brainstorming sessions, where stakeholders discussed new ways to support federal and industry stakeholders.

To learn more about SpectrumX and stay connected with updates, fill out our form here: https://www.spectrumx.org/get-involved/ 

About SpectrumX

SpectrumX is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of its Spectrum Innovation Initiative, under grant number AST 21-32700. SpectrumX is the world’s largest academic hub where all radio spectrum stakeholders can innovate, collaborate, and contribute to maximizing social welfare of this precious resource.

To learn more about SpectrumX, please visit spectrumx.org.

Christina Clark, Research Communications Specialist
SpectrumX / Notre Dame Research / University of Notre Dame
cclark26@nd.edu / 574.631.2665