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Senators Warner, Wicker Introduce Federal SpectrumRelocation Bill

Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Wednesday introduced a bill that would require federal agencies to provide more
information on spectrum relocation projects at the outset, and would create a
technical review panel to help develop relocation plans, and provide for
spectrum sharing during transition period.

The government is pushing federal and commercial users to
share their spectrum--or give some of it up--so the government can reclaim some
of it for auctioning to wireless broadband companies. The bill would apply to
federal users, like the Defense Department--whose spectrum allocations are
overseen by the Commerce Department.

The goal of the bill is to encourage broadband deployment by
improving the auction process. "This bill is one element of our strategy to
make better use of spectrum - a finite resource - and keep America
on the cutting-edge of wireless technology. The Spectrum Relocation and
Improvement Act will better promote infrastructure investment and broadband
deployment," said Warner.

Wicker and Warner point to the 2006 Advanced Wireless
Services auction, in which federal spectrum was auctioned for advanced
wireless, but problems caused build-out and deployment delays.

They are looking to speed the process as the government
looks to start auctioning news blocks of spectrum--including from
broadcasters--for wireless broadband to head off what they argue is a looming
spectrum crisis.