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Spectrum Hearing Slated For June 1

The House Energy & Commerce Committee's
Communications Subcommittee will hold another spectrum hearing June 1.

According to the committee, the hearing will be on
"Promoting Broadband, Jobs and Economic Growth Through Commercial Spectrum

It will follow this week's May 25 hearing on"Creating
an Interoperable Public Safety Network."
The two issues are tied together by bills in the House and Senate that would
auction broadcast spectrum to commercial wireless broadband users and use some
of that money to fund and maintain an emergency communications network.

Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) had said there
would be several spectrum-related hearings, but that he did not want to rush a
decision about freeing up spectrum. Another issue is whether to allocate the
spectrum to public safety, paying for it with money from the auction of other
spectrum, or to auction that 10 MHZ swath of spectrum as well and let a
private-public partnership create and run the network.

The FCC has been trying to put the pedal to the metal on
a spectrum incentive auction bill, citing the spectrum crunch, while Sen. Jay
Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), author of one of those bills, has been pushing for
creating the interoperable broadband public safety network before the tenth
anniversary of 9/11 and puts an unwelcome exclamation point on the fact that it
has yet to be created.

Rockefeller's spectrum bill is expected to be marked up
June 8.