Government Accountability Office

Public-Safety Broadband Network: Congressional Action is Required to Ensure Network Continuity

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is responsible for establishing a nationwide public-safety broadband network. In this report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified four key statutory requirements and contract responsibilities currently performed by FirstNet that Congress should address before FirstNet would sunset in 2027. For example, FirstNet oversees the network contract awarded to AT&T in 2017. The current statute does not identify another federal entity to assume oversight when FirstNet sunsets.

Spectrum Management: NTIA Should Improve Spectrum Reallocation Planning and Assess Its Workforce

The government is working to transfer some federally-used spectrum to the private sector to help build mobile broadband networks, including 5G. The National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) facilitates these transfers, which can be complex and take years. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that NTIA lacks a formal process for planning these transfers. We recommended that it develop one to help address challenges and risks before they arise.

Quantum Computing and Communications: Status and Prospects

GAO conducted a technology assessment on (1) the availability of quantum computing and communications technologies and how they work, (2) potential future applications of such technologies and benefits and drawbacks from their development and use, and (3) factors that could affect technology development and policy options available to help address those factors, enhance benefits, or mitigate drawbacks. GAO identified four factors that affect quantum technology development and use: collaboration, workforce size and skill, investment, and the supply chain.

FCC is Taking Steps to Accurately Map Locations That Lack Access

To help close the digital divide, federal programs provide funding to support broadband deployment in unserved areas. According to the Federal Communications Commission, these programs rely on data the FCC collects from broadband providers to identify which areas are and are not served to target their limited funds. This report describes the FCC's progress in developing a location fabric and the challenges stakeholders identified that the FCC faces in doing so.