Congressman Guthrie Reintroduces SMART Spectrum Act

Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) reintroduced the Simplifying Management, Access, Reallocation, and Transfer of Spectrum Act, or SMART Spectrum Act with Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) to establish a tool to improve the coordination of shared spectrum and mitigate harmful interference for commercial and federal users. Spectrum is a fixed, finite resource used for telecommunication and managed by the federal government. The federal government sets aside spectrum for public services and then auctions other spectrum frequencies to commercial users.

Development of a National Spectrum Strategy

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) seeks comment on identifying airwaves for more intensive use and innovative new uses by both the private sector and federal agencies. NTIA seeks input on creating a spectrum pipeline for the next decade of frequencies that could be studied for new or additional uses. The agency’s goal is to identify at least 1,500 megahertz of spectrum to study for potential repurposing—perhaps the most ambitious study goal for NTIA to date—to meet future requirements for non-federal and federal users.

FCC Seeks Budget Boost to Power Equitable Communications Buildout

The Federal Communications Commission has asked for a budget increase of a little more than 5 percent for fiscal 2024 (FY 2024), given inflation and its goal of getting broadband to 100% of the US in an equitable and inclusive way. In its budget request to Congress, the FCC said its top priority is the universal broadband the Biden administration has said should be achievable by the end of the decade. To do that, the agency said, it wants a 5.3

FCC’s spectrum-auction lapse stalls next-generation 911 funding

The Federal Communications Commission’s recent lapse in authority to auction off wireless spectrum has members of the House of Representatives concerned about the US's ability to stay competitive in a global wireless market. It has others concerned that the upgrade to next-generation 911 just lost its primary funding source. The Senate recently declined to vote on the House’s Spectrum Innovation Act, a bill that would have funneled spectrum fees into numerous initiatives, including $10 billion for upgrading aging 911 systems.

Get ready for the summer of spectrum squabbling

For the first time ever, Congress allowed the Federal Communication Commission's spectrum auction authority to lapse—a development that prevents the agency from auctioning more spectrum to 5G network operators. At roughly the same time, President Joe Biden's nominee to the FCC, Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society], abruptly withdrew from contention without any clear replacement.

How Not To Help Close the Digital Divide

If you’re a person living in the United States without quality broadband, you should be very disappointed in the way your elected officials have failed to meet the following challenge of closing the digital divide recently: 

FCC Grants Auction 108 Licenses

The Federal Communications Commission granted licenses to seven of the smaller winning bidders in the 2.5 GHz auction, which was completed in August 2023.

FCC’s spectrum auction authority nears March expiration

The top Republican and Democrat on the House Commerce Committee are working to avert a lapse, in March 2023, of the Federal Communications Commission’s authority to auction spectrum as Congress seeks a more lasting plan that could pay for a number of telecommunications priorities.  Auctions of the spectrum have been a financial boon for the government.

Talking About Things We Don’t Talk About

The Federal Communications Commission is an important institution. It oversees a huge input to our information economy: Spectrum. Fortunately, three decades ago, we developed a method for allocating spectrum that has garnered bipartisan praise, been copied around the world, underlaid two Nobel prizes, and is arguably the most successful communications policy innovation ever. Unfortunately, Congress can’t decide how to reauthorize that auction authority. Congressional dysfunction? Alas, not weird. The stakes are high: billions in investment capital, 10x more in economic impact.

Bipartisan House Commerce Committee Leaders Commend Passage of Bipartisan FCC Auction Authority Bill

House Commerce Committee leadership commended the passage on February 28th, 2023 on the House floor of H.R. 1108, a bill to extend the Federal Communication Commission auction authority deadline to May 19, 2023. The bill was sponsored by Reps. Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ). “Spectrum policy is national security policy.