What We Do
The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) is the research and engineering laboratory of NTIA. We perform advanced communications research to inform spectrum policy and develop capabilities to solve emerging telecommunications issues. We serve as a principal Federal resource for solving the telecommunications concerns of other Federal agencies, state and local Governments, industry, and international organizations. We work to continually advance the state of the art in radio frequency (RF) propagation measurement, RF propagation modeling, spectrum monitoring and enforcement, electromagnetic compatibility analysis, interference mitigation strategies, evaluation of end-user experience, and engineering analysis of evolving technologies to manage and share spectrum efficiently. Learn more about ITS on our YouTube Channel or read about our research programs in the FY 2017 Technical Progress Report.
March 10, 2019
How can we get more use out of the radio spectrum? One way is by
sharing radio bands between users who have never shared before.
Consider radio frequencies near 3.5 GHz. Until recently, that part
of the spectrum was...
November 26, 2018
Behind every initiative to share spectrum are models of
how radio waves in a particular band propagate through different
environments. How far will a signal travel before it becomes too
faint to be useful or...
August 7, 2018
The record attendance (nearly 170 experts from government,
academia, and industry) at the 17th International Symposium on
Advanced Radio Technologies (ISART) demonstrated the deep interest
in the problem of modeling...
April 24, 2018
As demand for spectrum for commercial use continues to grow,
policymakers are exploring spectrum sharing as a way to expand
capacity while still fulfilling the needs of federal agencies. This
model can work only if rules...
February 23, 2018
The Radio Act of 1912 dictated perhaps the first spectrum
efficiency requirement when it said that “In all circumstances,
except in case of signals or radiograms relating to vessels in
distress, all stations shall...
This Month in ITS History
April 1950: Boulder Chamber of Commerce Begins Fundraising to Attract CRPL
On April 11, 1950, the citizens of the city of Boulder, Colorado kicked off a campaign to raise money to guarantee the Department of Commerce’s new laboratory would be built in the city. With the help of Senator Ed Johnson (D-CO) and Ed Condon, the director of the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), Boulder had been chosen to house the new NBS lab in December of the previous year. But the decision was based in part on the promise that land for the labs would be supplied by the City. The Chamber of Commerce started a newspaper advertising campaign in April that compared donated money to insurance premiums. “For a premium of $70,000 the community is assured a $2,000,000 annual dividend in the form of payroll and employment opportunities,” the ads promised. Within nine days the citizens and businesses of Boulder and surrounding communities had raised $93,629.58, easily surpassing their goal. The Radio Building, where ITS is still located, was completed in 1954 and dedicated by President Eisenhower on September 13. The citizens of Boulder received even higher dividends on the money they invested than the advertising had promised: by 1959 the lab's payroll was injecting over $4 million into the area’s economy and attracting visiting scientists from around the world. Boulder's current reputation as a center of scientific and technical innovation with a strong startup economy owes much to the researchers who have been attracted to Boulder over the years by the presence of NBS, ITS, other Commerce and federal laboratories, and the University.