Jun 12 2014
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today introduced the Wireless Innovation Act to reallocate spectrum used by the federal government for commercial wireless services, ensure greater transparency and accountability of the federal government’s spectrum use, and promote wireless innovation and deployment.
Rubio first discussed his wireless agenda during an event at 1776 yesterday. He issued the following statement with the introduction of the legislation:
“The use of wireless broadband and Internet connected devices has caused an explosion of economic growth and innovation that was previously unimagined, and wireless traffic is projected to grow exponentially in the years ahead. In order to meet that demand and ensure that the U.S. continues to lead the world in wireless innovation and technology, we must ensure that the federal government uses its spectrum in an efficient and responsible manner, and we must free up additional spectrum for commercial use.
“This legislation accomplishes both goals by directing NTIA to reallocate federal spectrum for commercial use. The Wireless Innovation Act will also provide transparency on the use and value of federal spectrum and inform the public on how federal entities use a scarce public resource. Passing the Wireless Innovation Act will grow our economy and ensure that consumers continue to enjoy the benefits of wireless technology.”
The Wireless Innovation Act would implement the following policies:
- Spectrum Reallocation and Auction Pipeline: Requires NTIA to identify and reallocate 200 MHz of spectrum for mobile use (140 MHz for licensed use; 40 MHz for shared use; 20 MHz for unlicensed use) and establishes an auction pipeline with staggered auctions starting in 2018;
- Federal Incentive: Incentivizes federal agencies to reallocate spectrum by allowing portions of the proceeds to be made available for advance planning and enhanced efficiency, including research and development and cost and technical assessments on future reallocation of additional spectrum.
- Secondary Markets: Promotes secondary spectrum markets by expediting the FCC review period for routine license transfers.
- Federal Spectrum Analysis: Requires an analysis to review agency requests for new or modified frequency assignments for a wireless service, including whether commercial services could be used instead of new frequencies and whether the frequency could be shared with another agency.
- Federal Spectrum Transparency and Value: Provides transparency on the use and value of federal Spectrum. NTIA must develop a framework to determine the commercial value of each federal spectrum band.