TELECOMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING
COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY
OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Meeting the Nation’s Telecommunications Needs
Committee on Telecommunications Research and Engineering
at the Department of Commerce’s Boulder Laboratories
Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001
This study was supported by National Institute of Standards and Technology. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-37980-9
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-37980-6
Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.
Copyright 2015 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015.
Telecommunications Research and Engineering at the Communications Technology Laboratory: Meeting the Nation’s Telecommunications Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.
The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.
The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.
Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org.
Other Recent Reports of the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
A Review of the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Implications and Importance of System Architecture (2015)
Bulk Collection of Signals Intelligence: Technical Options (2015)
Future Directions for NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure to Support U.S. Science and Engineering in 2017-2020: An Interim Report (2014)
At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy: Some Basic Concepts and Issues (2014)
Geotargeted Alerts and Warnings: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps (2013)
Professionalizing the Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce? Criteria for Future Decision-Making (2013)
Public Response to Alerts and Warnings Using Social Media: Summary of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps (2013)
Continuing Innovation in Information Technology (2012)
Computing Research for Sustainability (2012)
The Safety Challenge and Promise of Automotive Electronics: Insights from Unintended Acceleration (2012, with the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and the Transportation Research Board)
Strategies and Priorities for Information Technology at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2011)
The Future of Computing Performance: Game Over or Next Level? (2011)
Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options (2011)
Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Summary of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps (2011)
Critical Code: Software Producibility for Defense (2010)
Proceedings of a Workshop on Deterring Cyberattacks: Informing Strategies and Developing Options for U.S. Policy (2010)
Achieving Effective Acquisition of Information Technology in the Department of Defense (2010)
Improving State Voter Registration Databases (2010)
Toward Better Usability, Security, and Privacy of Information Technology: Report of a Workshop (2010)
Limited copies of CSTB reports are available free of charge from:
Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
National Research Council
The Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
COMMITTEE ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING AT THE
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE’S BOULDER LABORATORIES
DOUGLAS SICKER, Carnegie Mellon University, Chair
JENNIFER T. BERNHARD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
ELSA GARMIRE, Dartmouth College
DAVID J. GOODMAN, New York University
HARLIN R. MCEWEN, The International Association of Chiefs of Police
HELENA MITCHELL, Georgia Institute of Technology
PAUL NIKOLIC, Consultant, IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards
RICHARD (RICK) L. REASER, JR., Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems
JEFFREY H. REED, Virginia Tech
DENNIS ROBERSON, Illinois Institute of Technology
VIRGINIA BACON TALATI, Program Officer, Study Director
SHENAE BRADLEY, Senior Program Assistant
JON EISENBERG, Director, Computer Science and Telecommunications Board
COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD
FARNAM JAHANIAN, Carnegie Mellon University, Chair
LUIZ ANDRE BARROSO, Google, Inc.
STEVEN M. BELLOVIN, Columbia University
ROBERT F. BRAMMER, Brammer Technology, LLC
EDWARD FRANK, Brilliant Cloud & Lime Parity
SEYMOUR E. GOODMAN, Georgia Institute of Technology
LAURA HAAS, IBM Corporation
MARK HOROWITZ, Stanford University
MICHAEL KEARNS, University of Pennsylvania
ROBERT KRAUT, Carnegie Mellon University
SUSAN LANDAU, Google, Inc.
PETER LEE, Microsoft Corporation
DAVID E. LIDDLE, US Venture Partners
FRED B. SCHNEIDER, Cornell University
ROBERT F. SPROULL, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
JOHN STANKOVIC, University of Virginia
JOHN A. SWAINSON, Dell, Inc.
ERNEST J. WILSON, University of Southern California
KATHERINE YELICK, University of California, Berkeley
JON EISENBERG, Director
LYNETTE I. MILLETT, Associate Director
VIRGINIA BACON TALATI, Program Officer
SHENAE BRADLEY, Senior Program Assistant
EMILY GRUMBLING, Program Officer
RENEE HAWKINS, Financial and Administrative Manager
For more information on CSTB, see its Web site at http://www.cstb.org, write to CSTB, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001, call (202) 334-2605, or e-mail the CSTB at email@example.com.
The 2006 National Research Council report Renewing U.S. Telecommunications Research observed that “the telecommunications industry remains of crucial importance to the United States as a society, that a strong telecommunications research capability continues to be essential to the health and competitiveness of this U.S. industry internationally, and that the health of this industry strongly affects the U.S. economy in many ways.”1 In recent years, use of radio-frequency (RF) communications has grown tremendously, making it especially important to use the RF spectrum more efficiently.
The Department of Commerce (DOC) operates two laboratories concerned with communications technologies collocated at its Boulder, Colorado, campus (referred to collectively in this report as the Boulder telecommunications laboratories). The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) operates a telecommunications research and engineering laboratory, the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS). ITS serves as a principal federal resource for solving the telecommunications concerns of federal agencies, state and local governments, private corporations and associations, standards bodies, and international organizations. ITS helps carry out NTIA’s mission by performing research and engineering to support government and private industry in managing the radio spectrum and making effective use of new technologies. Much of the ITS annual operating budget comes from federal and private research sponsors rather than NTIA’s direct appropriation. In 2014, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) established the Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL) to merge several current NIST laboratories into a single laboratory and to promote standards and metrology in the area of communications technologies. CTL develops appropriate measurements and standards to enable interoperable public safety communications, effective and efficient spectrum use and sharing, and advanced communication technologies. In June 2013, NTIA announced an agreement with NIST to establish a national Center for Advanced Communications (CAC) to better coordinate telecommunications-related research and engineering activities of ITS and NIST (now CTL). Figure P.1 outlines the organizations of the Boulder telecommunications laboratories.
This study originates in part from language in House Report 112-463, which accompanied Fiscal Year 2013 Commerce Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations, which directs NTIA to engage the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to “analyze the research and activities of ITS and make recommendations regarding the extent to which ITS research is addressing future telecommunications challenges and spectrum needs.”2 Subsequently, NIST, on behalf of itself and NTIA, asked that the Academies carry out assessments of both ITS and CTL. Two separate task orders were issued calling for these assessments to be performed by a single study committee, the Committee on Telecommunications Research and Engineering at the Department of Commerce’s Boulder Laboratories. This report provides the Academies’ assessment of CTL. A separate report provides the Academies’
1 National Research Council, Renewing U.S. Telecommunications Research, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2006, p. 4.
2 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriation Bill, House Report 112-463, 2013, p. 15, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/R?cp112:FLD010:@1(hr463).
FIGURE P.1 The Boulder telecommunications laboratories.
assessment of ITS.3 Both reports contain sections examining (1) collaborative efforts between the two laboratories, including CAC, National Advanced Spectrum and Communications Network (NASCTN), and Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR), and how these programs support NIST and NTIA missions and (2) national priorities in telecommunications research and the role in which the Boulder telecommunications laboratories can play. Appendix A provides the committee’s statement of task.
The study committee visited the Boulder telecommunications laboratories on April 22, 2015, meeting with staff from CTL to understand the current activities of the laboratory, its strengths and weaknesses as an organization, and its plans for the near future. The committee also met with additional stakeholders, including industry and government organizations who have used the Boulder telecommunications laboratories resources (listed in Appendix C). The assessment included in this report stems from these visits and discussions and the committee’s own expertise.
Douglas Sicker, Chair
Committee on Telecommunications Research and Engineering at the Department of Commerce’s Boulder Laboratories
3 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Telecommunications Research and Engineering at the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences: Meeting the Nation’s Telecommunications Needs, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2015.
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Vanu Bose, Vanu, Inc.,
Martin Cooper, Dyna, LLC,
David Liddle, U.S. Venture Partners,
Paul Milgrom, Stanford University,
David Morse, Corning Incorporated,
Tom Sorley, City of Houston, Texas, and
Andrew Viterbi, University of Southern California.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Louis Lanzerotti, New Jersey Institute of Technology, who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
This page intentionally left blank.
This page intentionally left blank.