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House E&C Backs FCC Spectrum Auctions, Big Time

Capitol Hill
(Image credit: Gary Arlen)

The House Energy & Commerce Committee Communications Subcommittee gave a big thumbs up to extending the FCC's ability to raise tens of billions of dollars through the treasury with spectrum auctions, not to mention freeing up spectrum in the process for Wi-Fi.

The subcommittee voted unanimously (29 to 0) to favorably report the Extending America’s Spectrum Auction Leadership Act of 2022, which would extend the FCC's spectrum auction authority, which otherwise would expire Sept. 30 of this year, to March 21, 2024. 

In fact it was a bipartisan love fest of sorts, with all seven communications/tech bills favorably reported to the full committee without a single "nay" cast.

Also: House Moves to Extend FCC Auction Authority

Also favorably reported were 1) the Ensuring Phone and Internet Access for SNAP [supplemental nutrition program] Recipients Act of 2021 (passed by voice vote); 2) the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences [ITS ]Codification Act (passed 27-0); 3) Preventing Disruptions to Universal Service Funds Act (29-0); 4) the Simplifying Management, Access, Reallocation, and Transfer of Spectrum  [SMART] Act (voice vote); 5) the Safe Connections Act of 2022 (29-0); and 6) the Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022 (29-0).

"I applaud the Communications and Technology Subcommittee for their leadership on upgrading our nation’s 911 systems and using the auction of our public airwaves to do it," said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. "I also applaud the Subcommittee for their continued focus on further funding to support the reimbursement program created by the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act."

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.