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Spectrum Management

Many Federal agencies use radio frequency spectrum to perform vital operations. NTIA manages the Federal government's use of spectrum, ensuring that America's domestic and international spectrum needs are met while making efficient use of this limited resource. NTIA carries out this responsibility with assistance and advice from the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee and by:

  • establishing and issuing policy regarding allocations and regulations governing the Federal spectrum use;
  • developing plans for the peacetime and wartime use of the spectrum;
  • preparing for, participating in, and implementing the results of international radio conferences;
  • assigning frequencies;
  • maintaining spectrum use databases;
  • reviewing Federal agencies' new telecommunications systems and certifying that spectrum will be available;
  • providing the technical engineering expertise needed to perform specific spectrum resources assessments and automated computer capabilities needed to carry out these investigations;
  • participating in all aspects of the Federal government's communications related emergency readiness activities; and
  • participating in Federal government telecommunications and automated information systems security activities.

Related content


ISART 2016 Energizes the Conversation on Spectrum Forensics

August 15, 2016

Earlier this month, about 160 scientists, engineers, mathematicians, policy experts and other participants representing government agencies, academic institutions and industry gathered to discuss an exciting new field of spectrum research aimed at providing novel insights on ways to address radio signal interference.  Advances in this area promise to bring improvements to how spectrum is managed, in particular supporting efforts to efficiently and effectively accommodate the constantly increasing demand for use of this critical, limited. and already congested resource.

The 15th International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies (ISART), which took place in Westminster, Colo., kicked off with a tutorial on civil and criminal spectrum interference investigations and enforcement actions. Former and current Federal Communications Commission staffers discussed the technical aspects of identifying sources of interference and the policy and legal challenges of enforcement. They emphasized the value of technical cooperation between users sharing spectrum to rapidly mitigate interference.

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