Aspen Institute Sets Forth Strategic Principles and Action Steps for a National Spectrum Strategy

September 15, 2022

Recommendations to enable American leadership for the networks, devices, and applications that will define our economy and society

Contact: Jon Purves
The Aspen Institute
202 909 570

Washington, DC, September 15, 2022 – Aspen Digital, a program of the Aspen Institute, announces a strategic path for effective, forward-thinking spectrum policy in a new publication, Toward A National Spectrum Strategy. A wide range of spectrum stakeholders – including network operators, technology providers, science organizations, government agencies, and public interest advocates – participated in the process culminating in this report.

The report recognizes spectrum as a national, public asset. Planning for effective spectrum policy – the way we allocate and use the airwaves for wireless applications – is foundational to meeting our national goals of economic growth, global leadership, and a “Made in America” agenda. 

“Wireless technologies connect us, protect us, and enlighten us. They are an integral part of our day-to-day lives and core to our nation’s economy,” says Vivian Schiller, executive director of Aspen Digital. “As usage continues to grow and new wireless tools and services come online, our spectrum policies must meet the challenge. This is the time to develop a comprehensive plan, and act.”

“Providing access to spectrum to accommodate the  growth of existing services and create opportunities for new services – both federal and non-federal – is ever more challenging.  This report presents the collective ideas and recommendations of top experts in the field and is a major contribution towards finding ways to meet the spectrum challenge now and in the future,”  says Julie Knapp, former Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology at the FCC.

The report stakes out key principles to inform spectrum policies, sets forth broad recommendations for U.S. spectrum policy for the years ahead, and details potential actions to implement those recommendations.  

Guiding principles:

1: Issue and periodically update a long-term plan for spectrum abundance.

2: Assure a balanced portfolio of spectrum for different use cases, business models, and government missions.

3: Facilitate a more productive, flexible, and innovative use of spectrum.

4: Promote digital equity and inclusion.

5: Promote U.S. technology leadership in the global marketplace.

6: Improve spectrum governance at all levels.

7: Maintain a competitive wireless marketplace.

8: Augment the policymaking toolkit.

The report offers dozens of specific policy recommendations, based on those principles, to meet the challenge of ensuring that spectrum is available for all the disparate and critical uses it serves today, and will serve in the future. The report also catalogs a list of frequency bands that should be examined to assure that spectrum-dependent public and private enterprises are able to fulfill their missions.  

Read the report, Toward A National Spectrum Strategy:

This report is designed to support  bipartisan agreement on an improved spectrum policy. It is intended to support FCC, NTIA, and other efforts, and to help inform and bolster public discussions on key issues, beginning with the September 19th NTIA Spectrum Strategy Symposium.


Aspen Digital empowers policy-makers, civic organizations, companies, and the public to be responsible stewards of technology and media in the service of an informed, just, and equitable world. A program of the Aspen Institute, we shine a light on urgent global issues across cybersecurity, the information ecosystem, emerging technology, the industry talent pipeline, tech and communications policy, and innovation. We then turn ideas to action and develop human solutions to these digital challenges.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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