Measure would reallocate and auction the 1755-1780 MHz Spectrum BlockApril 26 2012
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Plan calls for 500 MHz of new commercial spectrum in 10 years and projects that by 2014 mobile data traffic will be 35 times 2009 levels. On February 22, 2012, the President signed into law legislation giving the FCC the authority to conduct a variety of different auctions that will reallocate broadcast and government spectrum for commercial wireless use. But, at the last minute, the 1755-1780 spectrum block was pulled from the law.
To maximize revenues, the Efficient Use of Government Spectrum Act introduced today by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) would require the FCC to pair the 1755-1780 block and the 2155-2180 block, already set for auction, for reallocation and auction for commercial wireless use. Following the guidance of the March 2012 National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the Stearns/Matsui bill gives the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies located in the 1755-1780 band five years to relocate off their band and adequate protections for reallocation, including reimbursements for planning costs and the acquisition of state-of-the-art replacement systems.
Stearns said, “Today we take the next step forward in bringing the 1755-1780 band to auction for commercial wireless use. The rise of smartphones and tablets has dramatically increased demand for spectrum. It is estimated that by 2016, mobile broadband subscriptions will reach 5 billion and U.S. mobile data traffic will grow 16-fold, with 74% of mobile users (214 million people) generating more than one gigabyte of mobile data traffic per month. Requiring the FCC to pair for auction the 1755-1780 band with the 2155-2180 band will bring more spectrum to the market and to consumers and raise $12 billion, most of which will go to the U.S. Treasury. At the same time the bill takes responsible steps for ensuring DoD and other federal agencies are well protected by following the recommendations set forth in the March 2012 NTIA Report.”
Matsui added, “We are faced with a spectrum crunch in our country and consumers continue to demand the latest smartphones and devices, which will only increase demand. It is estimated that by 2014, mobile data traffic will be 35 times 2009 levels, and the resulting deficit in wireless broadband spectrum is expected to be 275 MHz by 2014. This bipartisan legislation moves us a step closer to bringing an additional 25MHz of federal spectrum to auction for commercial wireless services. This bill also seeks to provide the necessary and responsible safeguards for DoD and other federal agencies to relocate, if necessary, by following the recommendations set forth in the March 2012 NTIA Report. Additionally, the proceeds from the auction will go either toward building out our nation’s public safety interoperability network, or to the U.S. Treasury. This bill is a win-win for consumers, and for American innovation."
Contact: Paul Flusche (202) 225-5744/cell 202 225-7360