Doyle, Latta, Larsen, and Walberg Introduce Legislation to Modernize Federal Spectrum Management Systems

June 25, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – June 25, 2020 – U.S. Representatives Mike Doyle (PA-18), Bob Latta (OH-5), Rick Larsen (WA-2), and Tim Walberg (MI-7) have introduced legislation to require the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to submit a plan for the modernization of its information technology systems. 

“I’m pleased to introduce this legislation with my colleagues Ranking Member Bob Latta (OH-5), Representative Rick Larsen (WA-2), and Tim Walberg (MI-7) today,” said Congressman Doyle. “This bill will assist the federal government in modernizing its spectrum management systems. 

“Spectrum enables much of the technology that powers our modern economy. The federal government is the largest holder of spectrum, and I believe it has a major responsibility to manage this resource in a way that incentivizes innovation and creates opportunity. That’s why it’s important that the federal government has the most up-to-date spectrum management systems. 

“I believe this legislation will help the federal government be a better steward of this valuable limited resource, and we need to work diligently to get it passed.”

“The Spectrum IT Modernization Act recognizes the important role of the federal government to responsibly manage spectrum in order to meet the needs of both the public and commercial sectors,” said Congressman Latta. “I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Chairman Doyle, Representative Larsen, and Representative Walberg. With the advancement of our legislation, we will improve the coordination and management of federal spectrum.”

Congressman Larsen said, “You cannot have a big-league economy with little league infrastructure. That is as true for bridges, highways and transit as it is for disruptive new technologies, including 5G. The federal government must ensure its spectrum management infrastructure is secure and effective to meet the needs of the public and the 21st century economy.”

“Smart spectrum management helps foster innovation and encourage economic growth here in the United States. I am glad to work with my colleagues on this bipartisan bill to bring the federal government up to speed with the technological capability to use federal spectrum more effectively,” said Congressman Walberg.

H.R. 7310, the Spectrum IT Modernization Act, would direct the NTIA, in consultation with the Policy and Plans Steering Group, to establish goals for the modernization of the infrastructure used by covered agencies, including the Department of Defense, relating to managing the use of Federal spectrum by those agencies, and then to submit a report to Congress that contains NTIA’s plan to modernize and automate its spectrum management infrastructure. The legislation also would direct the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct oversight of the implementation and modernization plans submitted by the NTIA.

Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, are the largest users of spectrum in the United States. Efficient management of this resource is essential for building next generation wireless networks as well as new shared and unlicensed services. Better coordination between federal agencies will also ensure that mission-critical assets are protected from harmful interference.