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House Commerce Counts Incentive Auctions Among 3rd Quarter Accomplishments - Broadcasting & Cable

House Commerce Counts Incentive Auctions Among 3rd Quarter Accomplishments

Talk of job-creation, money to treasury from reclaiming broadcast spectrum for reauctioning
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The House Energy & Commerce Committee
issued its third quarter report on the committee's progress, and incentive
auctions were high on the list of Communications Subcommittee achievements, as
well as some FCC reforms that failed to pass the senate and a focus on
cybersecurity, though legislation on that issue has also failed to crack the
partisan divide.

The
spectrum auctions were part of a must-pass tax bill, but the specific
legislation to compensate broadcasters for giving up spectrum was the handiwork
of Communications Subcommittee leadership as well as the Senate Commerce
Committee.

"These
spectrum reforms are a win for taxpayers, a win for consumers, and a win for
jobs and the economy as well," the report said. "The auctions are
projected to bring in approximately $26 billion; after investment to protect
broadcasting and support public safety... According to recent studies,
investment in next-generation wireless broadband could produce an estimated
300,000 jobs or more. Our legislation makes spectrum available to help that
investment become a reality. At the same time, the spectrum provisions pave the
way for development of a nationwide interoperable broadband public safety
network, finally making this recommendation of the 9/11 Commission a
reality."

The
report also pointed to House passage of a couple of the committee's bills on
FCC reform, one that consolidated reporting obligations and the other that
would have put set deadlines for FCC actions and cost-benefit tests of new
regulations.

The
report gave a shout out to Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) for her resolution
promoting a multi-stakeholder governance model for the Internet. On that score
Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate are in agreement and both
Houses passed similar resolution in advance of an international
telecommunications conference in Dubai where some countries --
Russia, China, some Arab states -- are
pushing for a more ITU-centric model.

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