CCIA to Congress: Don’t Restrict FCC Spectrum Auction Authority

BY Phillip Berenbroick
December 14, 2011

Last night the House of Representatives passed HR 3630 – legislation extending payroll tax cuts.  Tucked into the bill is authority for the FCC to conduct incentive auctions of wireless spectrum.

CCIA has long urged Congress to authorize the FCC to work with broadcasters and conduct auctions for wireless spectrum in order to expand wireless broadband access.  However, CCIA is unable to offer its support for the House bill.

Unfortunately, the House legislation is problematic in that it severely restricts the FCC’s flexibility to set rules for future spectrum auctions that would spur greater competition, investment in, and expansion of wireless broadband.  Furthermore, the FCC’s spectrum auction rules have historically led to more spectrum auction bidders, increasing taxpayer revenue.  CCIA believes that the FCC’s spectrum auction authority should not be restricted in ways that are deficient in both collecting revenue for taxpayers and spurring competition in and expansion of wireless broadband.

Last night, CCIA asked leadership of the House and Senate Commerce Committees to pass legislation that authorizes the FCC to conduct spectrum auctions and remove restrictions that will both reduce revenue and fail to spur needed competition in the wireless broadband market.

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