House E&C Names Government Spectrum Working Group

The House Energy & Commerce Committee has created a Federal Spectrum Working Group to look at improving how the government uses its spectrum.

Reps Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) will co-chair. Other members are John Shimkus (R-Ill.), Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), Steve Scalise (R-La.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), John Barrow (D-Ga.), Donna Christensen (D-U.S.V.I.). Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), who named the members, will serve ex-officio.

The FCC and National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which oversees government spectrum use, have been tasked by the Obama administration with freeing up 500 MHz over 10 years for wireless broadband. That includes the commercial spectrum the FCC is hoping to get back from some broadcasters via incentive auctions.

NTIA has already identified 210 MHz of government spectrum that can be repurposed or reallocated, or about 40% of that 500 MHz total.

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.