|Additional Spectrum Auctions Can Expand Broadband Access, Spur Job Creation, and Provide Greater Deficit Reduction.|
WASHINGTON, DC – Four members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction today sent a letter to President Obama requesting a review of how spectrum currently used by the federal government can be used more efficiently, with a goal to reallocate portions of existing government spectrum to expand the public’s access to broadband. The letter was sent by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), and Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA). The full text of the letter follows:
Dear Mr. President:
The Budget Control Act tasks the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction with developing recommendations to reduce the deficit by “at least $1.5 trillion” by FY 2021. One way to produce job growth is spectrum auctions. In February, you set a goal of making an additional 500 MHz of spectrum available for wireless broadband use. You identified voluntary incentive auctions of spectrum currently allocated, for example, to broadcast television as one potential source. We certainly support such voluntary incentive auctions. But we believe that those auctions will not produce all the spectrum we need to meet our country’s growing demand for broadband.
In an effort to produce more spectrum for wireless broadband than in the current proposal, we respectfully request that you direct the Office of Management and Budget to re-examine and consider expanding a proposal in your FY 2012 Budget and in your recommendations submitted to the Committee for consideration on September 19, 2011, specifically, to make more efficient use of federal government spectrum and reallocate some of it for commercial broadband use. In particular, we should put every effort into making available paired, internationally-harmonized spectrum below 3 GHz in sufficient block sizes to support mobile broadband services within the next 10 years.
These efforts enjoy bipartisan Congressional support. Spectrum auctions would generate tens of billions of dollars in auction proceeds, help the Select Committee meet its deficit reduction goals, stimulate billions in private-sector capital investment, provide a job-creating boost to the economy, and ensure that America continues to lead the world in wireless broadband innovation. The Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 yielded spectrum now being used to deploy 4G wireless services and gave the United States an international edge in the growing wireless economy. Let’s build on that momentum.
In light of the time sensitive work of the Select Committee, we kindly request a response by October 14.
The Honorable Fred Upton U.S. House of Representatives Member, Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
The Honorable John F. Kerry U.S. Senate Member, Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
The Honorable Xavier Becerra U.S. House of Representatives Member, Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
The Honorable Patrick J. Toomey U.S. Senate Member, Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans: