A bipartisan bill to establish an Office of Policy Development and Cybersecurity at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) passed the House on a voice vote this week.

The NTIA Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act was reintroduced by Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, on March 2, and unanimously advanced out of the Energy and Commerce Committee in May. Rep. Susan Wild, D-Penn., co-sponsors the bill.

The legislation approved by the House on July 25 would establish the Office of Policy and Development and Cybersecurity within the NTIA to analyze and develop policies related to internet and communications technologies.

Specific activities of the office would include developing policies that promote: innovation, competition, and other elements of the communications, media, and technology markets; security and resilience to cybersecurity incidents while fostering innovation; and commercialization of communications technologies.

“The NTIA Policy and Cybersecurity Act will refocus the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to ensure they are working to better secure the communications technology industry,” Rep. Curtis said when he introduced the bill. “State and nonstate actors are working overtime to find vulnerabilities in our networks. We must work even harder to ensure that Americans are protected from cyberattacks.”

The legislation was first introduced in the 117th Congress but failed to make it to a vote before the legislative session ended.

Sens. John Hickenlooper, D-Colo., and Shelley Capito, R-W.V., also reintroduced companion legislation in the Senate on May 10.

“Cyberattacks and breaches of private data ultimately hurt American consumers, and as technology and the telecommunications industry continue to advance, so do the threats from hackers and bad actors. Provisions must be in place to strengthen NTIA’s Office for Policy Analysis and Development and protect the private information of the public they serve,” Sen. Capito said when they introduced the legislation.

The Senate bill was originally introduced in the 117th Congress but never made it out of committee.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.