Trump Taps House Telecom Aide Redl to Lead NTIA

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By Kyle Daly

President Donald Trump intends to nominate senior House telecommunications aide David Redl to lead the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the White House announced late May 16.

The NTIA, which is part of the Commerce Department, oversees government entities’ use of spectrum and identifies spectrum it thinks the wireless industry would put to better use. Wireless providers have been clamoring for high-frequency spectrum they say they’ll need to move into the 5G era of ultra-fast, dense wireless networks. Federal agencies like the Department of Defense hold the licenses for large chunks of that spectrum.

The agency participates in the Commerce Department’s Internet Policy Task Force, along with the Patent and Trademark Office, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the International Trade Administration. The task force, which reviews privacy, copyright and cybersecurity policy issues, has fostered stakeholder discussions around drones and facial recognition technology.

The Senate is expected to confirm Redl, the Republican chief counsel for communications and technology on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Redl helped oversee a policy shop at the committee focused on tightening oversight of agencies like the Federal Communications Commission. Before joining the committee, Redl was director of regulatory affairs at CTIA – The Wireless Association, focusing on spectrum policy, wireless broadband and reducing regulations.

House Energy and Commerce Republicans praised the pick. Redl’s “experience with the committee and his vast knowledge of communications law and policy makes him well suited to head the agency that will be at the forefront of promoting safe, secure communications networks, broadband deployment, and the efficient use of federally held spectrum,” committee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), former chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said in a statement.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called Redl “a superb choice” for the job in a May 17 statement.

“The FCC has long had a close partnership with NTIA, and I personally look forward to continuing that relationship with that agency under David’s leadership,” Pai said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kyle Daly in Washington at kdaly@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bna.com

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