Outgoing US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai (pictured) called on Congress to reform the nation’s spectrum management framework, warning the current fragmented approach could hinder future progress.

In a speech, Pai explained spectrum in the US is currently managed by two separate agencies, with the FCC governing commercial airwaves and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) those used by government bodies.

He noted the US is one of the only countries to have such a split system.

Pai argued the structure “doesn’t work”, pointing to efforts by federal agencies to “throw up roadblocks” in recent years as the FCC worked to free additional spectrum for commercial use.

He blasted the government as “arguably the biggest thing hampering efforts to use spectrum more efficiently”, and insisted “we must bring an end to the practice of each agency having its own” policy.

“If the FCC ultimately holds the pen on all spectrum matters, perhaps agencies will stop throwing up roadblocks by default and will recognise that the best way to preserve their interests is to persuade the Commission with sound engineering and facts.”