S 522

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 522

To clarify the rights and responsibilities of Federal entities in the spectrum relocation process, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 9, 2011

Mr. WARNER introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


A BILL

To clarify the rights and responsibilities of Federal entities in the spectrum relocation process, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Spectrum Relocation Improvement Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF FEDERAL ENTITIES IN THE SPECTRUM RELOCATION PROCESS.

    (a) Eligible Federal Entities- Section 113(g)(1) of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act (47 U.S.C. 923(g)(1)) is amended to read as follows:

      `(1) ELIGIBLE FEDERAL ENTITIES- Any Federal entity, as defined in subsection (i), that operates a Federal Government station assigned to a band of eligible frequencies, as described in paragraph (2), and that incurs relocation costs because of the reallocation of frequencies from Federal use to non-Federal use shall receive payment for such costs from the Spectrum Relocation Fund if the Federal entity is found by the Office of Management and Budget (in this section referred to as `OMB') to comply with the requirements of this section and section 118. For purposes of this paragraph, Federal power agencies exempted under subsection (c)(4) that choose to relocate from the frequencies identified for reallocation pursuant to subsection (a) are eligible to receive payment under this paragraph.'.

    (b) Public Information on Relocation Process- Section 113(g) of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act (47 U.S.C. 923(g)) is amended--

      (1) by redesignating paragraph (6) as paragraph (7); and

      (2) by inserting after paragraph (5) the following new paragraph:

      `(6) PUBLIC NOTICE OF RELOCATION PLANS-

        `(A) Not later than 90 days after the date on which the NTIA, on behalf of eligible Federal entities and after review by OMB, notifies the Commission of estimated relocation costs and timelines for such relocation as required by paragraph (4)(A), NTIA shall post on its Web site detailed transition plans from each of the eligible Federal entities, taking appropriate measures to safeguard classified or sensitive information as detailed in this section. Each Federal entity's transition plan shall provide the public with the following information about its spectrum relocation requirements:

          `(i) Current use of the spectrum.

          `(ii) Geographic location of the Federal entities' facilities or systems, including frequency bands used by such systems.

          `(iii) The steps to be taken by the Federal entity to relocate its current spectrum uses from the eligible frequencies, including timelines for specific geographic locations in sufficient detail to indicate when use of such frequencies at specific locations will be shared between the Federal entity and the commercial licensee.

          `(iv) The specific interactions between eligible Federal entities and NTIA needed to implement the transition plan.

          `(v) The name of the director, officer, or employee responsible for the Federal entity's relocation efforts and who is authorized to meet and negotiate with commercial licensees regarding the relocation process.

          `(vi) The Federal entity's plans and timeline for using relocation funds received from the Spectrum Relocation Fund, procuring new equipment and additional personnel needed for the relocation, and field-testing and deploying new equipment needed in the relocation.

          `(vii) Risk factors in the relocation process that could affect the Federal entity's fulfillment of its transition plan.

        `(B) To be eligible to receive payment for relocation costs from the Spectrum Relocation Fund--

          `(i) Federal entities shall make the transition plans described in this subsection available to NTIA at least 90 days prior to the date that NTIA shall make such plans publicly available on its Web site pursuant to subparagraph (A), in a common format to be specified by NTIA after public input; and

          `(ii) each transition plan shall be evaluated by a standing 3-member technical panel (in this section referred to as the `Technical Panel'), which shall report to NTIA and to the Federal entity, within 30 days after the plan's submission to NTIA, on the sufficiency of the plan under this paragraph, including whether the required public information is included and whether proposed timelines and estimated relocation costs, including costs proposed for expanding the capabilities of a Federal system in connection with relocation, are reasonable.

        `(C) The Director of OMB, the Administrator of NTIA, in consultation with the affected Federal entities, and the Chairman of the Commission shall each appoint one member to the Technical Panel, and each such member shall be a radio engineer or technical expert, or have equivalent qualifications. NTIA shall adopt regulations to govern the workings of the Technical Panel after public notice and comment, subject to OMB approval, and the members of the Technical Panel shall be appointed, within 180 days of the date of enactment of the Spectrum Relocation Improvement Act of 2011. No person shall serve as a member of the Technical Panel for more than 3 years.

        `(D) If any of the information otherwise required by this paragraph is `classified information,' as that term is defined in section 798(b) of title 18, United States Code, the Federal entity's transition plan shall explain the exclusion of any such information as specifically as possible, shall make all relevant non-classified information available in its transition plan, and shall discuss as a risk factor the extent of the classified information and the effect on the relocation process of the classified information.

        `(E) NTIA, in consultation with OMB and the Department of Defense, shall adopt regulations within 180 days of the date of enactment the Spectrum Relocation Improvement Act of 2011 to ensure information released publicly for the purpose of this paragraph contains no sensitive or classified information.'.

    (c) Sharing and Coordination of Spectrum Between Commercial Licensees and Federal Entities During Relocation Transition-

      (1) EVALUATION OF SHARED ACCESS- Section 111 of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act (47 U.S.C. 921) is amended--

        (A) by striking `As used' and inserting the following:

    `(a) In General- As used'; and

        (B) by adding at the end the following:

    `(b) Evaluation of Shared Access- The Commission and the NTIA shall jointly establish any applicable conditions as are determined necessary to define the term shared access to include such considerations as methods of sharing spectrum resources, coordination between Federal and non-Federal entities, such as commercial licensees, and/or sharing network infrastructure or other resources.'.

      (2) ELIGIBILITY FOR PAYMENT OF RELOCATION COSTS- Section 118 of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act (47 U.S.C. 928) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsections:

    `(f) Eligibility for Payment of Relocation Costs-

      `(1) SPECTRUM SHARING- To be eligible to receive payment for relocation costs from the Spectrum Relocation Fund, a Federal entity shall--

        `(A) in its transition plan for relocating its current spectrum uses, provide--

          `(i) to the fullest extent possible, for sharing and coordination of eligible frequencies with commercial licensees, including reasonable accommodation by the Federal entity for the use of eligible frequencies by the commercial licensee during the period that the Federal entity is relocating its spectrum uses (in this subsection referred to as the `transition period'); and

          `(ii) a presumption that commercial licensees shall be able to use eligible frequencies during the transition period in geographic areas where the Federal entity does not utilize those frequencies;

        `(B) during the transition period, make itself available, within 30 days after a written request, for negotiation and discussion with commercial licensees; and

        `(C) during the transition period, make available to a commercial licensee with appropriate security clearances any `classified information' as that term is defined in section 798(b) of title 18, United States Code, regarding the relocation process, which will assist the commercial licensee in the relocation process with that Federal entity or other Federal entities.

      `(2) TIMELY AND SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF RELOCATION- In addition to the conditions of paragraph (1), to be eligible to receive payment for relocation costs from the Spectrum Relocation Fund, a Federal entity--

        `(A) shall complete the relocation of its current spectrum uses not later than 1 year after the date upon which funds are transferred to the entity to fund the relocation;

        `(B) may complete the relocation of its current spectrum use at a time period different that required under subparagraph (A), if prior to the date the Technical Panel (as described in section 113(g)(6)(C)) is required to post publicly the Federal entity's transition plan, the Federal entity receives written approval from the Office of Management and Budget (in this section referred to as `OMB'), with the advice of the Technical Panel; and

        `(C) shall make available to NTIA, not later than 15 days prior to the date that is the halfway point of the time period described in subparagraph (A), a complete update of its transition plan, provided that NTIA shall post such update publicly on its Web site not later than the date that is the halfway point of the time period described in subparagraph (A).

      `(3) Nothing in paragraphs (1) or (2) shall be construed to adversely affect critical communications related to the mission of any Federal entity.

      `(4) Subject to subsection (d), payments for relocation costs from the Spectrum Relocation Fund shall be made to an eligible Federal entity not later than 30 days after the grant of the first license following the close of the auction.

    `(g) Dispute Resolution Process-

      `(1) If, during the spectrum relocation process, a dispute arises over the execution, timing, or cost of the Federal entity's transition plan, either the Federal entity or the affected commercial licensee may seek resolution of the dispute from a 3-member dispute resolution board, consisting of a representative of OMB, NTIA, and the Commission, and chaired by the representative of OMB.

      `(2) The dispute resolution board shall meet with representatives of the Federal entity involved in the dispute and the commercial licensee together to discuss the dispute. The dispute resolution board may require the parties to make written submissions to it. The dispute resolution board shall rule on any dispute within 30 days after the date that the dispute was brought before it.

      `(3) The dispute resolution board shall be assisted by the Technical Panel described in section 113(g)(6)(C).

      `(4) Subject to OMB approval, NTIA shall adopt regulations to govern the working of the dispute resolution board and the role of the Technical Panel after public notice and comment within 180 days after the date of enactment of the Spectrum Relocation Improvement Act of 2011.

      `(5) Appeals may be taken from decisions of the dispute resolution board to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by filing a notice of appeal with that court within 30 days after the date of such decision. Each party shall bear its own costs and expenses, including attorneys' fees, for any litigation to enforce this subsection or any decision rendered under it.'.

SEC. 3. GAO STUDY.

    (a) In General- The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study regarding the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and other Federal agencies' spectrum management capabilities, including related staff, mission, and current budget for the annual spectrum-related efforts of the NTIA and such other Federal agencies. The study required under this subsection shall include an analysis of expected funding needs and coordination of existing resources of the Federal Government, by agency, to prepare for any future relocation or sharing of currently utilized spectrum.

    (b) Submission of Report- Not later than December 31, 2011, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit report on the study required under subsection (a) to the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate.

END