Today, Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the Advancing Innovation and Reinvigorating Widespread Access to Viable Electromagnetic Spectrum, or “AIRWAVES,” Act. The bill establishes a pipeline to move federal spectrum into commercial use, ensuring significant capacity for both exclusive use (“licensed”) spectrum and shared use (“unlicensed”) spectrum.
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.
Public Knowledge Government Affairs Counsel Phillip Berenbroick will testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Wednesday, October 7 at 10:15 a.m. His testimony in the hearing on “Improving Federal Spectrum Systems” will support increasing the amount of spectrum available to create a robust pipeline that helps promote competition, deploy broadband, and foster innovation throughout America. He will also advocate for the importance of including unlicensed spectrum in the bands that are cleared.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve an Order paving the way for the "incentive auction" of broadcast spectrum in the first quarter of 2016. The Commission’s action also establishes a clear path for unlicensed spectrum in the 600 MHz band. While the FCC was unable to preserve the framework agreed to in 2014 that would allow for nationwide unlicensed spectrum in the 600 MHz band duplex gap, it did find a solution that will likely enable unlicensed use of vacant broadcast television channels in markets where broadcasters are relocated to the duplex gap.