The FCC’s Technological Advisory Council (TAC) provides technical advice to the FCC. The TAC is organized under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.  The current TAC, which is the FCC’s 5th Technological Advisory Council, was formed on October 21, 2010.  The TAC is comprised of a diverse array of leading experts that helps the FCC identify important areas of innovation and develop informed technology policies supporting America’s competitiveness and job creation in the global economy.

TAC Meeting Schedule

The FCC’s Technological Advisory Council will meet on the following dates in 2017:

All meetings will be held in the Commission Meeting Room at 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC. The June meeting will begin at 10am and end at 3pm, the September meeting starts at 12:30pm and ends at 4pm, and the December meeting will begin at 10:00am and end at 4:00pm. All meetings will be webcast and accessible from https://www.fcc.gov/live.

Releases
  • Documents and White Paper Releases
  • September 19, 2017 - Meeting of the Technological Advisory Council (TAC) [Video]
    • Summary of meeting [Acrobat]
    • Download the meeting presentations. [Acrobat]
  • June 8, 2017 - Meeting of the Technological Advisory Council (TAC) [Video]
    • Summary of meeting [Acrobat]
    • Download the meeting presentations. [Acrobat]
2017 TAC Work Groups

Mobile Device Theft Prevention (MDTP) Work Group:  
The MDTP Work Group has focused on analyzing the theft of mobile devices in the United States; working with industry and law enforcement to increase the security of mobile devices, facilitate coordination of theft related data between industry, law enforcement and the consumer, and track trends in the theft of mobile devices.  Prior work has led to alignment of theft prevention features among smartphone manufacturers and initial development of an industry information portal to coordinate theft data among stakeholders.  The work group is tasked in 2017 to build on this early work.  It will focus on working with law enforcement in assessing the benefits of the information portal to relevant stakeholders, make recommendations for the continuing involvement of law enforcement in industry theft prevention efforts, and analyzing the ongoing effectiveness of past efforts in combatting device theft.  In addition, the work group will study future mobile device threats in an evolving ecosystem and make further recommendations on actions to combat theft. It will also develop baseline statistics on device theft based on data from directed consumer surveys and law enforcement data to help track long term progress and identify theft scenarios.

Recommendations for Removing Obsolete or Unnecessary Technical Rules:    
The rapid pace of technology evolution often makes rules that were adopted years ago unnecessary or irrelevant.  This work group is tasked to review the FCC technical rules to identify and prioritize those that should be eliminated.  In making recommendations the work group is to consider the benefits and costs of doing so, particularly relative to any potential risks of detrimental impact or unintended consequences to existing stakeholders and how those risks can be mitigated.  The work group is also tasked with identifying alternative processes for streamlining the introduction of new technologies as an alternative to the Commission’s traditional approach of considering technical matters through rule making.  The Commission has largely left it to industry to develop standards for new technologies.  Would it be feasible to use standards bodies for development of standards for such things as transmitter power limits and out of band emissions?  Are there processes that exist or can be developed that bring stakeholders together to develop consensus recommendations on technical matters, including whether it is necessary to embody specific elements in regulations?

Implications of Next Generation TV Broadcasting Technology:  
TV broadcasting is poised to introduce its next generation standard ATSC 3.0.   The new standard differs from the traditional TV broadcasting standard in several important ways.  It has the capacity to carry not only what can be characterized as traditional content (in a high definition format), but also provides substantial additional capacity to offer new services.  The task of the work group is to consider how the new standard might fit into the overall communications landscape of the future.  For example, to what extent will this new service compete or integrate with services that are offered by commercial wireless services?  To what extent might the implementation of ATSC 3.0 raise issues such as expanded deployment of distributed transmission systems that could face issues such as tower siting?  What are the ways that ATSC 3.0 is likely to be deployed that could intersect with other communications facilities and devices such as the use of gateways that could rely on Wi-Fi to distribute multiple video signals throughout a dwelling?   If a gateway and Wi-Fi were used, how would they interplay with wireless routers used for other services in the same dwelling?  What other synergies or interfaces might exist between broadcast data services and commercial wireless services?  The intention is specifically not to address the topics raised in the Commission’s planned rulemaking to facilitate ATSC 3.0 but rather to look ahead to how implementation may impact the future of communications generally.

Broadband Deployment Technological Challenges:  
This group would bring together technical experts from a broad cross section of the communications industry - e.g., wireline and mobile, cable, satellite, broadcast - to study and provide information on available technologies, their limitations, and any technical rules or policies that impede broadband deployment. This group's work may also provide a ready resource for technical support for the FCC's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC)

Satellite Communications Plan:
The commercialization of space together with the evolution of satellite technology is changing the operational nature of satellite launches. Launch ventures once restricted to companies with hundreds of millions of dollars of capitalization are now in reach of innovative startups using small satellite technologies.  On the other extreme, well-funded companies are planning to launch thousands of small satellites providing broadband communications across the globe.  Declining costs for launch vehicles are also accelerating both the number of satellites proposed to be launched as well as the frequency of launches.  Within a decade, the number of operational satellites may increase by more than an order of magnitude.  Processes designed to support singular launch ventures don’t scale to these numbers nor do they support innovative and disruptive startup ventures.  Dedicated frequency assignments per satellite will not serve an environment of many thousands of satellites.  This work group will look at recommendations for processes and communication solutions to support both startup venture satellite operations as well as massively scaled satellite operations.  The work group will assess the challenges faced by these new satellite ventures in the context of current and planned communication/telemetry solutions.  The work group will focus on streamlining the regulatory process, the impact on current satellite operations from expected scaling of operations in both frequency and number, the effect of possible interference from satellites operation in MEO and LEO orbits, and proposals that would allow for higher spectral efficiency and lower costs for satellite communication needs.