Guthrie, Matsui Introduce Spectrum Auction Deposits Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06), co-chairs of the Congressional Spectrum Caucus, introduced the Spectrum Auction Deposits Act (H.R. 4109), a bill that will make it easier for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to auction off spectrum frequencies.
Spectrum makes up the radio frequencies that power smartphones, Wi-Fi, and all other wireless technologies. Commercial demand for spectrum has exploded as our society has rapidly digitized, but the federal government still holds licenses for many spectrum frequencies, and the FCC also continues to study other bands that could be commercialized to meet demand.
In recent years, the FCC has held very successful spectrum frequency auctions, raising billions of dollars for deficit reduction and various other accounts. Going forward, however, the Commission has indicated they are having trouble partnering with private financial institutions to hold the large sums of money from bidders that make up auction deposits. The Spectrum Auction Deposits Act fixes this problem by allowing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to partner with the U.S. Treasury Department to hold the deposits of auction bidders in escrow.
“Whether you know it or not, if you use a smartphone or listen to the radio, you utilize spectrum,” said Congressman Guthrie. “As our economy and society as a whole become more and more digitized, freeing up spectrum waves is crucial for innovation and new technology. I was proud to join Congresswoman Doris Matsui to introduce the Spectrum Auction Deposits Act. By making it easier for the FCC to schedule future spectrum auctions, we can raise money for deficit reduction and increase technological innovation – a win-win.”
“In order to remain a global leader in 5G and expand broadband access throughout the country, we must accelerate our work to free up spectrum for commercial use,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “In today’s digital economy, reliable, affordable mobile broadband is critical for Americans’ access to everything from telehealth services to public safety communications. This legislation will allow the FCC to continue to conduct auctions so we can unlock the spectrum necessary to deploy current and next-generation broadband networks across rural America and beyond. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to advance this important legislation.”