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Legislators Put $5M Bounty on Spectrum Efficiency

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) have introduced a bill that would promote greater spectrum efficiency by paying up to $5 million for breakthrough wireless technologies.

Rather than pay for R&D that may not pan out, a challenge prize only rewards success, they pointed out in introducing the Spectrum Challenge Prize Act Tuesday (Dec. 8).

A Hill-passed budget bill already includes legislation to spur a government auction of reclaimed spectrum, but the new bill would target the other side of the equation, being more efficient with the spectrum government agencies still hold on to.

"The spectrum challenge competition would help incentivize innovators and entrepreneurs to develop technologies that eclipse the current state-of-the-art," they said.

The bill would "instruct the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), in consultation with other federal partners, to award up to $5 million in prizes to participants who develop ground-breaking solutions to spectrum efficiency."

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.