Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to aid the federal government in reallocating federal spectrum for commercial use. The bills, known as “The Supplementing the Pipeline for Efficient Control of The Resources for Users Making New Opportunities for Wireless (SPECTRUM NOW) Acts, fund research into improving the Fed’s spectral efficiency, thus freeing up additional spectrum for non-government use.
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, today introduced the bill in the Senate, and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) and Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02), co-chairs of the Congressional Spectrum Caucus, dropped the bill in the House of Representatives.
“The ultimate success of next generation communications networks will depend on the United States using finite wireless spectrum more efficiently,” Wicker said. “It is important for Congress to consider ways to support innovation in this crucial sector and to free up existing resources accordingly.”
The SPECTRUM NOW Act builds on the Spectrum Pipeline Act, which allowed federal agencies to access resources for R&D, engineering and economic analyses in the repurposing or sharing of federally spectrum for commercial wireless broadband use. Specifically, it addresses concerns with the $500 million Spectrum Relocation Fund (SRF) is running out of money. The new legislation would essentially boost the SRF’s funding to around $8 billion.
For a copy of the House bill, go to https://matsui.house.gov/uploadedfiles/spectrum_now.pdf
For the Senate bill, go to https://www.wicker.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/16a15dbb-d115-4604-8538-1eb037bc48e9/spectrum-now-act.pdf