Guthrie-Matsui Spectrum Legislation Passes House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) and Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA-06), co-chairs of the Congressional Spectrum Caucus, today applauded the House passage of Ray Baum’s Act (H.R. 4986), a comprehensive telecommunications bill that includes the Spectrum Auction Deposits Act, which Guthrie and Matsui introduced last year.
Spectrum – a finite resource – makes up the radio frequencies that power wireless technologies such as smartphones and Wi-Fi. The Spectrum Auction Deposits Act provides a statutory fix related to upfront payments made by bidders that take part in spectrum auctions. Chairman Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has stated that the FCC cannot schedule future auctions without this change. Passage of this bill into law would allow the FCC to proceed with much-needed auctions to open up significant spectrum frequencies for commercial use.
“I have seen firsthand in the Second District of Kentucky how American companies are innovating and developing new technology to compete in our rapidly digitizing economy,” said Congressman Guthrie. “For the U.S. to remain at the forefront of innovation across all sectors, we must unleash more spectrum for commercial use, which is crucial for the success of 5G service and expansion of broadband internet access. I was proud to join with Congresswoman Matsui to introduce the Spectrum Auction Deposits Act, and I was glad to see it included in Ray Baum’s Act.”
“Our ability to unlock additional spectrum is critical to the deployment of next-generation networks,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “With this fix, the FCC can continue to hold auctions that will help free up more spectrum for commercial use and propel our online economy forward. I’m pleased that we were able to advance this legislation as part of the FCC’s reauthorization, and thank Congressman Guthrie for his continued work on this important issue.”
Ray Baum’s Act reauthorizes the FCC and includes a number of reforms to modernize the FCC’s procedures. The bill also includes needed support for local television and radio broadcasters who will be relocating to different channels following the recent Broadcast Incentive Auction. It is named after Ray Baum, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s staff director who sadly passed away last month.###