At a hearing before the House communications and technology subcommittee on Wednesday, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) chief Larry Strickling defended his agency’s efforts to relocate affected government spectrum users from frequencies designated for commercial wireless users to other bands, as lawmakers questioned the pace of relocation and whether federal entities are using their spectrum in the most efficient way. In opening remarks, subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) said the goal of the hearing was to assess “how to more efficiently use government spectrum and free additional resources to meet consumers’ growing wireless broadband needs.” While acknowledging that the NTIA “has the extremely difficult task of maximizing government spectrum efficiency, sharing and use,” Walden said that to do its part in meeting that goal NTIA must query federal agencies on whether (1) their usage of spectrum is necessary, (2) their communications needs could be met through commercial networks, (3) their communications needs could be accomplished more efficiently with less spectrum, and (4) their operations could be moved to “other, less commercially desirable spectrum without sacrificing utility.” In reply to lawmaker inquiries about delays in moving federal government users from spectrum that was auctioned to wireless entities in the 2006 “AWS-1” auction, Strickling noted that 81% of federal users have cleared the spectrum since the relocation process commenced in 2007 and that all agencies provided with 36-month relocation deadlines have moved to alternate channels. Strickling further suggested that updates to the 2004 Communications Spectrum Enhancement Act may be needed to facilitate improved communications and transparency between federal spectrum users and commercial carriers during the relocation process. Strickling also said the NTIA is progressing in its analysis of the commercially-desirable 1755-1850 MHz band, adding that current federal operations “other than . . . satellites” should be able to move from that band within ten years once NTIA determines that relocation is feasible. While praising the subcommittee for its “focus on the importance of freeing up spectrum for commercial mobile broadband use,” CTIA president Steve Largent applauded NTIA for prioritizing its review of the 1755-1850 MHz, emphasizing: “this spectrum, and the 1755-1780 MHz band in particular, is essential for delivering on the promise of robust mobile broadband.”