Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at the NTIA Spectrum Policy Symposium

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at the NTIA Spectrum Policy Symposium

Feb 1, 2024

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves at the NTIA Spectrum Policy Symposium
Thu, 02/01/2024 – 15:37



Thursday, February 1, 2024

Office of Public Affairs

Thank you, Alan, for the introduction. Hello everyone! It’s great to be here today to speak with you all about the implementation of the Biden-Harris Administration’s groundbreaking effort to build and execute a National Spectrum Strategy and secure the future of U.S. leadership in wireless communications.

Our National Spectrum Strategy is essential to maximizing our economic and national security, and a major priority for the Department of Commerce. The Strategy will reimagine and reshape spectrum policy and the management of our spectrum resources for many decades to come – unleashing America’s technological ingenuity and prowess through new wireless services and improved government operations.

Make no mistake: Spectrum is the lifeblood of wireless communications and one of this country’s most precious resources. Our everyday lives – 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity, the GPS in our phones and vehicles, our radios and televisions, our weather forecasting systems, even our national defense – rely on spectrum.

And not only is it integral to functioning in the present; it’s the key to securing our future.

Spectrum is powering unprecedented levels of economic growth; over the next decade, it could add up to trillions of dollars. That growth will not just help the U.S. maintain its status as a global leader in technological innovation but help safeguard our national security.

The U.S. is engaged in a high-stakes, must-win competition over critical and emerging technologies with adversarial nations across the globe, and spectrum is at the center of those struggles. As we speak, China is launching a concerted effort to dominate 5G deployment and the eventual development of 6G. Our own spectrum policy must overcome these efforts and ensure that the U.S. and our partners and allies can compete globally on a level playing field.

President Biden understands this and has instructed his Administration to take meaningful action to address it. Our own Department’s recent accomplishments reflect that.

We have made historic investments in our connectivity with the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program, a $42.45 billion investment through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that is providing millions of Americans with access to affordable, reliable, highspeed broadband Internet.

Additionally, our Wireless Innovation Fund is helping us to maintain U.S. leadership in wireless technology, providing $1.5B to build and sustain a flourishing network of open, interoperable, and standards-based networks.

These are just two examples of this timely, important work. And as we look to advance these and other efforts, the need for forward-looking spectrum management is critical.

As the Secretary noted, spectrum is a finite resource. The careful allocation of spectrum, and decisions made by the United States’ spectrum managers, have enabled decades of U.S. technological and innovation leadership – and that same level of care and strategic thinking must be carried into the future.

Spectrum management will continue to be a crucial input in all private-sector and government wireless technologies, including 5G/6G, Wi-Fi, space exploration and commerce, climate and environmental goals, and global security.

That makes it all the more necessary that we work together to find the right balance of spectrum use and create incentives for investment and R&D. Creating this balance of spectrum requires careful planning, focus, and coordination – a common vision that will help us navigate the roadmap of responsible spectrum management.

And that vision includes you. We need help from stakeholders like you, who understand the urgency of the moment and the significance of spectrum in driving this country’s security, prosperity, and leadership forward. We need your partnership and engagement to make the National Spectrum Strategy a success. We need your expertise and your skills to help build an economy that works for everyone and a national defense that safeguards all Americans. Our future depends on it.

Bureaus and Offices

National Telecommunications and Information Administration


Don Graves


Spectrum Management
National Security

Read the full report from the U.S. Department of Commerce: Read More