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Sen. Lee Praised for Re-Introducing Spectrum Valuation Bill

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Wi-Fi fans including NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, are applauding the re-introduction of the Government Spectrum Valuation Act.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), would finally mandate that the government put a value on unlicensed spectrum to the economy, rather than give it no value when relevant spectrum legislation is being scored--valued--by the Congressional Budget Office.

That is because the bill would require the government to put a value on all its spectrum "if the spectrum were reallocated for the use with the highest potential value of licensed or unlicensed commercial wireless services that do not have access to that spectrum as of the date of the estimate."

Also Read: CBO Scores Cost of Net Neutrality Bill as Negligible

The CBO annually provides several hundred formal cost estimates for proposed legislation's impact on the federal budget.

On the news that Lee was trying again, the association said in a statement: "NCTA commends Sen. Mike Lee for introducing the Government Spectrum Valuation Act, which acknowledges the importance of spectrum for our country. This legislation requires federal government agencies to account for the value of their spectrum resources, and recognizes that both licensed and unlicensed spectrum generate value to the U.S. economy. The potential of unlicensed spectrum is especially significant, as estimates show that Wi-Fi will generate $995 billion in economic value for the United States in 2021.”

Wireless carriers were also weighing in. 

Also Read: Dish Soars on Spectrum Valuation

“CTIA commends Senator Lee for reintroducing the Government Spectrum Valuation Act," said SVP, government affairs, Kelly Cole. "Federal spectrum is a valuable taxpayer resource and essential to building our 5G Economy and closing the digital divide. Next-generation networks are expected to contribute $1.5 trillion to our GDP and create 4.5 million jobs in the next decade, including $14.3 billion in GDP growth and more than 42,000 jobs in Utah alone. This legislation will ensure lawmakers and the Administration are equipped to put federal spectrum to its highest and best use, fueling our economic recovery and connecting more Americans across the country.”

"NATE [the Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association] applauds the leadership of Senator Mike Lee in reintroducing the Government Spectrum Valuation Act and is excited that this common-sense legislation has been reintroduced in the 117th Congress,” said association president Todd Schlekeway. “The Association shares the views expressed by Sen. Lee that more efficient, effective management of the nation’s spectrum must be a national priority. NATE believes proper valuation of government-held spectrum is imperative and could ultimately pave the way for more industry access to this spectrum; doing so will translate into more deployment opportunities for our members, who transform these valuable radio frequency airwaves into connectivity."

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.