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Washington (DC) – Key lawmakers introduced legislation today that would require the United States government to “take stock of how the nation’s airwaves are used — and whether some spectrum isn’t used efficiently.” The move is being billed as a victory for wireless phone companies who could soon have more bandwidth.
Lawmakers introducing the legislation this evening included Democrat Senator John Kerry and Republican Senator Olympia Snow. Both the Commerce Department and Federal Communications Commission would be required to inventory the airwaves as used by governments and private companies within six months.
Senator Kerry said, “Our public airwaves belong to the American people, and we need to make certain we are putting them to good use in the best interests of those citizens.” As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and Internet, he also wrote this in the prepared statement, “We need to make sure we’re making as much of (the airwaves) available to innovators and consumers as possible.”
The purported urgency in bringing this legislation is to have a follow-on capitalization of the airwave auction that brought in $20 billion for the federal treasury. Additional freed-up airwaves could equate to billions of dollars in new auctions.