Congress Modifies Spectrum Policy in Bipartisan Budget DealOctober 27, 2015
Last night, Congress announced it had reached a bipartisan budget deal with the White House.
The budget agreement includes changes to spectrum policy, including directing the Department of Commerce to identify 30 MHz of spectrum held by Federal agencies to be auctioned for commercial use, requiring the Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department to identify and report to Congress on 100 MHz of spectrum that can be allocated for licensed and unlicensed use, and modifying the Spectrum Relocation Fund (SRF) to permit Federal agencies to use SRF funds to study how to use their spectrum more efficiently so more airwaves can be freed up for consumers.
The following statement can be attributed to Phillip Berenbroick, Government Affairs Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“The bipartisan budget agreement reached by Congress provides a framework for the FCC to continue its work to promote competition in the mobile broadband market and stimulate innovation and increase public access to the public’s airwaves by increasing the amount of unlicensed spectrum.
“Of critical importance, congressional leaders rejected proposals to micromanage the FCC or designate specific bands for auction. As we have proven time and again, spectrum policy works best when Congress tells the agencies what to do, but lets the expert agencies figure out how to get it done.”