WASHINGTON, July 8, 2009 -- The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday approved S. 649, the Radio Spectrum Inventory Act, which would give the National Telecommunications and Information Agency and the Federal Communications Commission 180 days to present Congress with a complete inventory of the radio frequencies that they manage from 300 Megahertz to 3.5 Gigahertz.
The bill, sponsored by committee member Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, requires that the FCC and NTIA also report on how licensed and government-owned spectrum is being used.
In other words, the agencies must report on who owns licenses, how they are being used, and the amount of unauthorized spectrum usage, as well as providing maps indicating locations of transmitting stations, together with signal strength and coverage. It would also require that TV and radio bands undergo the same cataloguing.
Once aggregated, the spectrum inventory would be made publicly-available on a portal managed by each respective agency, and updated to reflect real-time developments and changes. Agencies can petition for their data to be exempted for national security reasons, effective for two years.
"Our public airwaves belong to the American people, and we need to make certain we are putting them to good use in the best interests of those citizens," Kerry said when he introduced the bill back in March.
If passed, the inventory would constitute a systematic attempt to understand how airwaves are being used. The goal is to allocate and better utilize unused frequencies.
Though large telecommunications companies hold licenses to use large swaths of cellular bands, some broadband advocates hope that the inventory will lead to greater unlicensed used of the spectrum for wireless broadband.
In a press release, the wireless industry association CTIA, applauded the committee’s approval.
“As the wireless industry continues to invest to meet consumers' increasing demand for broadband services, we appreciate Senator Kerry and Snowe's commitment to work with stakeholders to fashion a bill that identifies where the next allocation of spectrum for commercial use will come from,” said group CEO Steve Largent in a statement.
“We look forward to working with Senators Kerry and Snowe, Chairman Rockefeller and their colleagues in the House to enact inventory legislation this year,” said Largent.
- Pushes to Privatize USPS Threaten the Oldest Universal Communications Network and Efficiency of Mail-in Ballots
- Microsoft Moves to Buy TikTok, Deepfake Identification Software, Facebook Advertising Growth Unchanged
- Digital Infrastructure Investment: Preview Video
- Breakfast Media Minute: August 3, 2020
- Jim Baller, Champion of Municipal Broadband, Fights the Fight for More Than 25 Years
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Artificial Intelligence1 month ago
Brookings Panelists Emphasize Importance of Addressing Biases in Artificial Intelligence Technology
Artificial Intelligence1 month ago
U.S. State Department Employing Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19 Misinformation
Broadband Roundup1 month ago
Artificial Intelligence Task Force, State Cybersecurity, ADTRAN Offers Rural Funding Guidance
Education1 month ago
A Mix of Resources and Technologies Are Needed to Close the Homework Gap
5G4 weeks ago
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg Describes 5G-to-the-Home Vision, Claiming U.S. Leads in 5G Deployment
Infrastructure1 month ago
Michigan Broadband Cooperative Calls Report Saying Municipal Broadband Has an Unfair Advantage ‘Laughable’
Digital Inclusion1 month ago
‘Disconnection Day’ Looms as a Flouted ‘Keep Americans Connected’ Pledge Expires
House of Representatives1 month ago
Witnesses Blame Social Media Algorithms for Spread of Misinformation