Federal Spectrum Bill Reintroduced

A bipartisan bill, the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act, has been reintroduced in an effort to get government spectrum holders to give it up for the cause, the cause being more spectrum for wireless broadband, Wi-Fi and more.

The bill has been introduced multiple times, so far without success.

The bill also creates an incentive auction for that freed-up spectrum similar to the one that just wrapped up last month for reclaimed broadcast spectrum.

The latest effort is co-sponsored by Reps. Guthrie and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), the co-chairs of the Congressional Spectrum Caucus.

“As our economy rapidly digitizes, we need to free up more spectrum bands so that wireless technology can continue to expand,” said Guthrie. “Right now, federal agency holdings are so extensive that they may be getting in the way of commercial innovation. However, federal and commercial needs are not mutually exclusive. By providing incentives for government agencies to consolidate their use of spectrum bands, we can encourage innovation in the private sector and lower the cost of wireless technology for consumers. I was proud to join Congresswoman Matsui in reintroducing the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act.”

“Now is the time to free up more of our nation’s airwaves for the invisible infrastructure of the 21st century,” said Matsui. “We have always been a nation of innovators, and our spectrum policies should be no exception. I’m pleased to be joining Congressman Guthrie in this effort to move more federal spectrum into the pipeline, so the United States can lead the world in 5G.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.