The Department of Commerce operates two telecommunications research laboratories located at the Department of Commerce's Boulder, Colorado, campus: the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA's) Institute for Telecommunications Sciences (ITS) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST's) Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL). 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 could provide an essential service to the nation by being a principal provider of instrumentation and spectrum measurement services; however, the inter-related shortages of funding, staff, and a coherent strategy limits its ability to fully function as a research laboratory. This report examines the institute's performance, resources, and capabilities and the extent to which these meet customer needs.
The Boulder telecommunications laboratories currently play an important role in the economic vitality of the country and can play an even greater role given the importance of access to spectrum and spectrum sharing to the wireless networking and mobile cellular industries. Research advances are needed to ensure the continued evolution and enhancement of the connected world the public has come to expect.