White House floating draft of spectrum bill

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The Bush administration is circulating draft legislation on Capitol Hill that
would codify its proposals to require broadcasters to pay $500 million in
spectrum-lease fees each year past 2006 that they remain on their analog
spectrum.

The legislation would also codify the FCC's spectrum-clearing rules, which
would allow broadcasters on channels 60 through 69 to accept payments from
wireless companies and others that want broadcasters to get off their analog
spectrum sooner.

The legislation is the follow-up to a proposal that has appeared in the
president's proposed budget to Congress both this year and last.

Last year, House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.)
called that plan 'dead on arrival,' and the administration never forwarded any
legislative language to Congress.

This year, the administration is circulating draft bills, but most industry
representatives don't expect such legislation to see the light of
day.

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