FCC Chairman Pai, FCC Commissioners, Industry, and Consumer Groups Support Senators Lee and Markey Government Spectrum Valuation Act

Washington (December 6, 2018) – Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pail, all FCC Commissioners, industry associations, and consumer groups all agree that the Government Spectrum Valuation Act would be an essential ingredient towards expanding and enhancing our wireless world. Since introduction last month, the legislation has garnered the support of several key industry, advocacy, and government stakeholders.

 

“The avalanche of support for the Government Spectrum Valuation Act confirms what countless consumers, businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators across the country already know – wireless connectivity and the Internet of Things revolution is an essential component for the nation’s economic growth and prosperity,” said Senators Markey and Lee. “But we cannot unleash the full potential of this wireless world without ensuring we more effectively and efficiently manage federal spectrum. We look forward to fighting for this legislation’s passage in the next Congress.”

 

Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) recently introduced the Government Spectrum Valuation Act, which will require annual coordination of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Office of Management and Budget, and the FCC to determine the value of electromagnetic spectrum assigned or allocated to each federal agency. The legislation will also require each federal agency to report the value of their electromagnetic spectrum in the President’s budget and each federal agency’s financial statement. 

 

“Freeing up spectrum is critical to maintaining U.S. leadership in next-generation wireless technology,” said Chairman Pai. “The FCC is continuing to work closely with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the federal agencies to ensure that commercial and federal users have access to spectrum to develop high-tech services that will drive this country’s economy and promote our security. I commend Senators Lee and Markey for introducing the Government Spectrum Valuation Act of 2018, which would provide valuable information to facilitate those efforts.”

 

“I applaud Senators Lee and Markey for introducing the ‘Government Spectrum Valuation Act of 2018’,” FCC Commissioner Michael O’Reilly.“As I have previously stated, requiring U.S. Government agencies to put a market price on their spectrum holdings will fix a budgetary anomaly and promote overall spectrum efficiency by incentivizing each agency to release unneeded spectrum. It’s an idea whose time has come and has generated diverse support, including from my colleague, Commissioner Rosenworcel.”

 

“With their bill, Senators Lee and Markey are helping the U.S. win the global race to 5G for the benefit of all Americans,” FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. “I applaud their bipartisan work, which can help unleash a new wave of economic opportunity as we make this transition to 5G.”

 

“Spectrum is a scarce but valuable resource,” FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. “Identifying just how federal airwaves are used and putting a valuation on that use is the first step toward building spectrum policy that provides greater reward for efficiency and powers exciting new innovation. Kudos to Senators Markey and Lee for shining a light on this important issue.” 

 

“CTIA commends Senators Lee and Markey for their bipartisan leadership in introducing the Government Spectrum Valuation Act,” Kelly Cole, CTIA, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs. “We need this kind of innovative approach to spectrum management to meet our country’s growing data needs. By determining the market value of federal spectrum, Congress and the Administration will be better equipped to manage the government's spectrum bands and ensure this valuable taxpayer resource is being put to its highest and best use.”

 

“NCTA welcomes the introduction of the bipartisan Government Spectrum Valuation Act by Senators Lee and Markey today, which would require federal government agencies to account for the value of their spectrum resources,” NCTA, The Internet & Television Association. “We applaud the bill’s recognition that the value of spectrum resources can be driven by their potential to be used for either licensed or unlicensed technologies, particularly given recent estimates that unlicensed technologies like Wi-Fi generated over $525 billion in value for the U.S. economy in 2017 alone.”

 

“As consumer demand for wireless technologies continues to grow, it is vital that Congress and NTIA be pro-active to ensure there is sufficient spectrum available for wireless networks and innovative, unlicensed technologies, like next-generation Wi-Fi,” Phillip Berenbroick Public Knowledge, Senior Policy Counsel. “The bi-partisan Government Spectrum Valuation Act of 2018 is an important step in achieving this goal. Ensuring that NTIA, agencies, and Congress understand the value of federal spectrum allocations is critical as policymakers work to ensure federal agencies have the spectrum resources they need to achieve their missions. Consumers will also benefit from agencies freeing up airwaves for commercial licensed, unlicensed, and shared spectrum as the bill increases access to communications services.”

 

“The Open Technology Institute at New America supports this bipartisan effort to better catalog and estimate the value of federal spectrum holdings,” Michael Calabrese, New America’s Open Technology Institute, Director of the Wireless Future Project. “The military and other federal agencies have critical needs for spectrum, but as we’ve discovered in recent years, it is often feasible to open enormous unused capacity in those bands for both unlicensed and licensed sharing with the private sector, thereby making wireless connectivity more ubiquitous, fast and affordable for all Americans.”

 

“Spectrum is critical in the race to 5G. Next generation 5G broadband networks will require additional spectrum for uses that will power innovation and U.S. competitiveness,” Ed Black, CCIA, President & CEO. “Yet much of it is held by the public sector — the federal government. It is important that federal agencies properly account for their holdings of large swaths of public airwaves. We commend Senators Lee and Markey for attempting to clear the air and promote higher-value uses of spectrum.”

 

“Senators Markey and Lee deserve a lot of credit for putting forward the Government Spectrum Valuation Act,” Doug Brake, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), Director of Broadband and Spectrum Policy. “There are still great opportunities to refine our tools and improve incentives to transition spectrum to more valuable uses. The reforms in the bill, which would require federal spectrum users to estimate the market value of their spectrum, would be a big step toward clarifying the opportunity costs of federal spectrum use.”

 

“Adequate access to spectrum is one of the critical challenges facing rural broadband providers,” Claude Aiken, CEO and President, Wireless Internet Service Providers Association. “WISPA commends the bipartisan leadership of Senators Lee and Markey in introducing a bill that would help put a price tag on federal spectrum assets. This advances the conversation on a holistic approach to spectrum management, and is another step towards ensuring that all spectrum is valued and allocated appropriately.”

 

“The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) applauds the leadership of Senators Lee and Markey in introducing the Government Spectrum Valuation Act,” Jim Goldwater, NATE, Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. “NATE shares the views expressed by the two senators that more efficient, effective management of the nation’s spectrum must be a national priority. We believe proper valuation of government-held spectrum is a common-sense approach that could pave the way for more industry access to this spectrum; doing so will translate into more deployment opportunities for our members, to the substantial betterment of the entire country.”

 

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