FreePress

For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

Senate Commerce Committee Approves Spectrum Bill

WASHINGTON - The version of the bill adopted by the committee today recognizes the importance of preserving unlicensed spectrum use in the TV band. Yet, it also requires a minimum of 84 MHz of spectrum to be auctioned. This requirement limits the discretion of the FCC to allocate spectrum for unlicensed use, and puts in jeopardy the "Super Wi-Fi" agenda advanced by a bipartisan Federal Communications Commission under both Chairman Julius Genachowski and former Chairman Kevin Martin.

Free Press Action Fund Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:

"For years, the public interest community, technology companies and the FCC have been working to promote the unlicensed use of otherwise available spectrum in the TV bands, because of the potential commercial and social benefits of 'Super Wi-Fi' networks and other innovative new services. As we stand on the verge of realizing these benefits, today's spectrum legislation appropriately recognizes the value of preserving unlicensed access to this spectrum in every market.

“We are concerned, however, that the bill includes an unnecessary auction target that jeopardizes the viability of these plans. This unnecessary and avoidable restriction threatens the elimination of TV white spaces without ensuring adequate substitutes in beachfront spectrum. The legislation currently expresses a clear goal of maintaining adequate unlicensed spectrum, but the bill's limits on FCC flexibility may make this goal impossible to achieve.

"We encourage legislators to remove this restriction as the bill continues through Congress, so that the FCC can facilitate the proper mix of auctioned, unlicensed, and broadcast use of this band."

###

Mid-Year Campaign: Your Support is Needed Now.

Common Dreams is a small non-profit - Over 90% of the Common Dreams budget comes from reader support. No advertising; no paywalls: our content is free. But our costs are real. Common Dreams needs your help today! If you're a regular reader—or maybe a new one—and you haven't yet pitched in, could you make a contribution today? Because this is the truth: Readers, like you, keep us alive. Please make a donation now so we can continue to work for you.

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

Share This Article

More in: