Next Century Cities and Municipalities File Comments on Developing a National Spectrum Strategy

By Brian Donoghue and Ryan Johnston


In coalition with the City of South Bend, Indiana; City of Boston, Massachusetts; City of Syracuse, New York; and Access Humboldt, Next Century Cities, submitted comments in response to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Request for Comment on the Development of a National Spectrum Strategy. The April 17th comments emphasized the importance of a comprehensive, collaborative, and forward-looking approach to reallocating and sharing spectrum.

As representatives of local governments and organizations working on expanding access to high-quality broadband, we called for an inclusive process that brings together federal, state, and local government stakeholders along with the private sector, educators, researchers, and civil society to develop a robust, adaptable, and future-proof strategy.

The importance of efficient spectrum management, greater data transparency, inter-agency coordination, and focus on sharing and re-using spectrum cannot be understated. NCC recommended using new spectrum auctions as a tool to promote competition and allocate resources fairly while acknowledging the need to ensure that small and rural providers are not excluded from accessing valuable spectrum. Those improvements would create opportunities for innovative spectrum use and ultimately help bridge the digital divide.

Together, we stressed the need to prioritize new CBRS models and unlicensed spectrum as critical resources for wireless broadband access, enabling communities to deploy low-cost, high-speed networks. This would significantly benefit underserved and unserved populations, including those in rural and tribal areas, providing greater access to remote education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

Finally, the comments call for a national spectrum strategy that complements efforts to expand broadband internet. By prioritizing collaboration with local governments and promoting affordable and accessible spectrum for municipal projects, the NTIA can help ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to participate fully in our increasingly digital world.

Read NCC’s filing here


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