December 11, 2023

Digital Trends

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Spectrum Management: Information Technologies for Managing Federal Use

2 min read

What GAO Uncovered

Federal organizations use a selection of information systems (IT) to take care of their use of radio-frequency spectrum. The William M. (Mac) Thornberry Countrywide Protection Authorization Act for Fiscal Calendar year 2021 (FY21 NDAA) needed the Countrywide Telecommunications and Info Administration (NTIA) and coated organizations to acquire programs to modernize their spectrum-related IT (i.e., the application, databases, and other instruments that comprise their spectrum infrastructure).

Currently, the NTIA offers companies with some spectrum-connected IT methods, such as application, databases, and engineering equipment, so that they can take part in NTIA’s spectrum administration processes. These processes include assigning frequencies for companies to use and certifying spectrum-dependent devices. GAO discovered that all 20 organizations included by the FY21 NDAA modernization prerequisite count at the very least in element on NTIA-furnished IT to regulate their spectrum use. Furthermore, most of these agencies—DOD and the Federal Aviation Administration, in particular—augment NTIA-presented IT with more spectrum-similar IT that satisfies their distinctive mission needs.

Many of the officers GAO interviewed broadly agreed that modernizing spectrum-linked IT could supply chances to boost spectrum administration, mainly linked to the next: (1) improving existing spectrum management procedures by addressing some limitations in present spectrum-related IT and (2) facilitating the prospective for larger spectrum sharing (i.e., enabling additional than a person spectrum person to use the exact frequency band without the need of interfering with every a further). As NTIA and the coated organizations advance their modernization initiatives in 2022, it is not nonetheless clear if their strategies will focus on these prospects.

Why GAO Did This Study

Radio-frequency spectrum is a scarce purely natural useful resource very important to a lot of professional and government routines, such as weather observation, air traffic regulate, and national defense. NTIA and govt companies have a duty to manage their spectrum use properly. To do so, organizations depend on unique spectrum-linked IT, but NTIA has not long ago highlighted that current IT is out-of-date and hinders spectrum management.

The FY21 NDAA incorporates a provision for GAO to overview the existing spectrum-similar IT of coated agencies. This report describes (1) the present spectrum-relevant IT that included organizations utilize to take care of their spectrum use, and (2) the opportunities lined businesses and NTIA determined for enhancing spectrum management by means of IT modernization. The FY21 NDAA also has a provision for GAO to conduct oversight of the implementation of agencies’ spectrum-connected IT modernization options. This subject will be the issue of future GAO work.

For far more information and facts, contact Andrew Von Ah at (213) 830-1011 or [email protected].

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