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Kerry and Snowe Introduce Bill to Mandate Spectrum Inventory

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WASHINGTON July 19, 2010- Senators John Kerry (D- Mass) and Olympia Snow (R- Maine) have introduced a bill which will direct the FCC and NTIA to conduct a spectrum inventory and the creation of a National Strategic Spectrum Plan.

The bill will require increased collaboration between the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to work together and develop the plan.

The bill also requires the “implementation of spectrum sharing and reuse programs, as well as more market-based incentives to promote efficient spectrum use; and, sets a deadline for the creation of the National Strategic Spectrum Plan, which will provide a long-term vision for domestic spectrum use and strategies to meet those needs.” However the deadline for the plan has not been released yet.

Senator Kerry said “This analysis will help us empower innovation, encourage competition, and lower prices for emerging technologies nationwide. Steps like this are essential to expanding broadband internet access while providing a platform where entrepreneurs can create new services and generate jobs. We can and should know how our spectrum is being used and do more to encourage more efficient and productive use.  We look forward to working with the Administration and the communications community to move forward with this important legislation.”

“This legislation will lay the groundwork to develop a strong and effective 21stcentury comprehensive spectrum policy that will provide consumers with additional choices, greater innovation, lower prices and more reliable services,” said Senator Snowe.

Public Knowledge President and Co-Founder Gigi Sohn said in a statement: “The bill would help the government figure out what spectrum is being used by whom, require more flexible use of spectrum through sharing and reuse and give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) much-needed authority to free up private and public sector spectrum by sharing auction proceeds with the current holders of spectrum.”

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for BroadbandBreakfast.com since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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