SpectrumX Policy Outreach Director, External Advisory Board member react to release of FCC, NTIA memorandum of understanding

By Christina Clark

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) published a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Tuesday, August 2, that the two agencies will be increasing their coordination on spectrum management efforts.

According to the announcement from the NTIA’s website, “The FCC and NTIA jointly manage the nation’s radio spectrum resources in the public interest. The agencies have a long history of cooperation to ensure the spectrum policy decisions foster economic growth, ensure our national and homeland security, maintain U.S. global leadership, and advance other vital U.S. interests.”

Monisha Ghosh, SpectrumX Policy Outreach Director, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame and former Chief Technology Officer at the FCC, commented on the MOU’s significance.

“The next generation of wireless networks will require spectrum in the bands below 24 GHz for cost-effective coverage that delivers increased throughput and reduced latency. Much of these bands are allocated for federal use today. Hence, cooperation between the FCC and NTIA is crucial in ensuring that the diverse needs of commercial wireless, public safety and science can continue to be met with innovative spectrum sharing and coexistence mechanisms that will protect each of these services from harmful interference,” said Ghosh. “The MOU between the two agencies is a welcome step towards continuing to maintain the lead that the U.S. holds in all these domains today”.

In addition, Janice Obuchowski, SpectrumX External Advisory Board member, President and Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Technologies, and former Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, within the Department of Commerce, NTIA, offered her comments. She began by congratulating FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davison for their work together on the MOU and approach.

“The MOU sets a very positive tone for the ongoing relationship between the FCC and NTIA,” said Obuchowski. “Radio spectrum access has never been more important to our nation, including to a range of U.S. Government users and our private sector. From a federal perspective, it is a critical component of our military capability, our climate assessments, and our space missions. From a commercial perspective, spectrum access undergirds many aspects of our culture and our national competitiveness.”

Within the purpose of the MOU, the FCC and NTIA outlined that the document acts to create a more formal “cooperative relationship.”

“May the positive spirit of the document drive numerous decisions and concrete steps going forward,” said Obuchowski.

Read the FCC, NTIA Memorandum of Understanding here: https://ntia.gov/other-publication/2022/memorandum-understanding-between-fcc-and-ntia

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