Senate panel set to consider spectrum bill


The eventual allocation of spectrum in the television band has been a hot topic in Washington all year, with a steady stream of talk emanating from the FCC, both houses of Congress and numerous trade organizations that definitely have a horse in the race. On 6/8/11, the Senate Commerce Committee will mark up a bill on the topic.

As legislation goes, S. 911, which sponsors Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) (pictured) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) say may be called the “Strengthening Public-safety and Enhancing Communications Through Reform, Utilization, and Modernization Act” or the “SPECTRUM Act,” is as light as cotton candy. It isn’t legislation at all, really, and makes no specific policy recommendations or orders. Instead it offers a “sense of Congress.”

And here’s what Congress “senses,” should the bill pass:

“It is the sense of Congress that Congress should enact, and the President should sign, bipartisan legislation to strengthen public safety and to enhance wireless communications by–
(1) providing sufficient wireless spectrum and other resources to build a nationwide interoperable wireless public safety broadband network;
(2) encouraging more efficient, flexible, and effective use of spectrum, a valuable and finite public resource;
(3) promoting voluntary market mechanisms to ensure the optimal allocation of spectrum;
(4) reforming the Federal Government’s spectrum management practices; and
(5) engaging in advanced research and development into emerging wireless technologies.”

That’s about it.

The bill will be on the agenda along with several other bills and a handful of nominations on Wednesday 6/8/11 at 10AM.