Spectrum policy and Congress

In March 2010 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the National Broadband Plan (NBP), mandated by Congress to ensure every American has "access to broadband capability." It presented issues to be addressed by regulatory changes, FCC policies, and Congressional action. Last month the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a paper discussing spectrum issues for the 111th Congress. From the Summary:
A challenge for Congress is to provide decisive policies in an environment where there are many choices but little consensus. In formulating spectrum policy, mainstream viewpoints generally diverge on whether to give priority to market economics or social goals. ...economic policy looks to harness market forces to allocate spectrum efficiently, with spectrum license auctions as the driver. Social policy favors ensuring wireless access to support a variety of social objectives where economic return is not easily quantified, such as improving education, health services, and public safety. Both approaches can stimulate economic growth and job creation.
On legislative issues, the CRS report covers spectrum inventory, the Spectrum Relocation Improvement Act of 2009, H.R. 3019 (pdf, 11pp) and Spectrum Relocation Improvement Act of 2010, S. 3490 (pdf, 11pp), incentive auctions, and the Broadband for First Responders Act of 2010, H.R. 5081, (pdf, 8pp).

Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress, R40674 (pdf, 36pp/324kB), June 21, 2010, from Open CRS

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