Shaping America’s Tech Future: Professor Lan Appointed to FCC Technological Advisory Council

April 19, 2024

tian lan

In the age of rapidly developing technology, maintaining the United States’ leadership in high-priority emerging technologies will require careful planning and execution. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the U.S.’ primary authority for communications law, regulation, and technological innovation, making it vital they keep abreast of important developments in the telecommunications industry. In 1998, the FCC established the Technological Advisory Council (TAC) to bring together a diverse array of leading experts to aid them in this effort.

GW Engineering is excited to announce Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Tian Lan was appointed a member of the TAC by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel! As a special government employee, Lan will provide technical advice and recommendations to help the FCC identify important areas of innovation and develop informed technology policies throughout the term of the current TAC charter, which expires on September 5, 2025.

Regarding his appointment, Lan said, “I am honored to serve alongside an esteemed lineup of experts and leaders. I look forward to contributing to this collective effort that will drive innovation and opportunity in connectivity technologies.”

Bandwidth determines the speed of communication and quality of our connectivity, but there is also only a limited supply of it. Technology is continually evolving, offering new opportunities to circumvent challenges in bandwidth and foster the growth of omnipresent, high-speed, low-latency connectivity. During its current charter, the FCC will present questions to the TAC around three emerging technologies that may help America overcome these challenges: spectrum sharing, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and sixth-generation communication (6G). 

“In the future, if we expect to have connectivity anywhere, at any time, and for any task, these technologies are going to be extremely important,” said Lan.

Overall, the committee is comprised of about 50 members from industry and academia. Each member was selected based on their superior qualifications and experience in the technology matters to be addressed by the TAC as they will be split into three working groups focused specifically on one of those emerging technologies. Lan has been researching network connectivity for almost 20 years with the overall goal of enabling networked users with services that are efficient, secure, fair, and sustainable. In the past few years, he expanded into using AI/ML to make more intelligent usage of bandwidth and network resources, so we can do more with what we have.

Lan and fellow council members will utilize their expertise to help the FCC turn scientific research into usable communications technologies swiftly and efficiently by gathering data and information, performing analyses, and preparing reports and presentations that provide advice and recommendations. By lending his expertise to the TAC, Lan is supporting America’s competitiveness in emerging technologies and spurring technology adoption, national priorities, and job creation in the global economy. For GW Engineering, his involvement opens doors to engage with other collaborators in this community.

“I’ve been working in this area for a very long time, more recently using AI and ML to help make networks intelligent. I’m looking forward to using this expertise and leveraging my experiences in this community,” Lan stated.