Reps. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and
Duncan Hunter (R- Calif.) have introduced -- actually reintroduced -- a bill,
the efficient Use of Government Spectrum Act, that would require the FCC to
pair the 1755-1780 MHz band with 2155-2180 MHz and auction it for potential
wireless broadband use, though the bill would allow for government users to
share the spectrum in geographic areas where clearing the band would threaten
That provision is an effort to make it a stronger sell to
DOD, which has registered concerns about having to give up the spectrum.
The National Telecommunications and Information
Administration, which oversees government spectrum users much as FCC does commercials,
identified the 1755-1780 block as being able to be freed up from government use
and paired with the 2155-2180 of commercial spectrum already designated for
Matsuiintroduced a similar bill in the last Congress.
"This bipartisan legislation demonstrates the need to act
swiftly to reallocate the 1755-1780 MHz band. The clock continues to tick on
the AWS-3 auction, and I believe pairing it with the 1755-1780 MHz band
presents our nation with a rare opportunity to spur American innovation and
economic growth in the 21st Century," Matsui said of this latest effort.
Not surprisingly, wireless companies and the consumer
electronics companies that make all those smart devices applauded the move to
goose the freeing up of government spectrum.
"This legislation represents an important effort in
reallocating our nation's valuable spectrum for wireless broadband, while
raising much-needed funds for the U.S. Treasury," said Consumer
Electronics Association president Gary Shapiro. "The 1755-1780 MHz band
represents key spectrum that our nation's innovators need to deploy robust
mobile broadband networks for the benefit of all Americans.
"We applaud the efforts of Reps. Matsui, Guthrie, Smith and
Hunter for introducing this important legislation to address our nation's
spectrum shortage," said Rhod Shaw, executive director of the High Tech
Spectrum Coalition, whose members include Cisco, Intel, Nokia Qualcomm, Samsung:
"If enacted, the bill would present an enormous opportunity to generate
jobs without government expenditures, raise revenue at a time when budgets are
constrained, and increase our GDP."
"AT&T commends Congresswoman Matsui and
Congressman Guthrie for introducing legislation that would free up spectrum
that is critically important for the wireless industry." said Tim McKone, executive
VP of federal relations for AT&T. "While AT&T continues to work
with federal agencies and industry on potential -haring scenarios of
government-held spectrum, the economic benefits of an exclusive licensing framework
cannot be denied. The wireless industry has invested billions of dollars in
infrastructure under this framework. Making the 1755 MHz to 1780 MHz
spectrum available for commercial mobile broadband use will not only spur
additional investment but will further help fund our nationwide public safety
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