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Report: Bipartisan Bill Encourages Incentives for Federal Spectrum Auctions

CongressFour members of Congress have proposed a bill that would incentivize federal agencies to sell some airwave holdings for commercial wireless use, The Hill newspaper reported Thursday.

Mario Trujillo writes the Federal Spectrum Incentive Act is designed to encourage agencies to give up their bandwidth by offering them a stake in spectrum auctions.

The bill’s sponsors are Reps. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) as well as Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.).

“The demand for additional commercial spectrum is well-documented and when federal spectrum isn’t being used or used efficiently, it makes sense to incent federal users to give it up so it can be repurposed for commercial use,” Jot Carpenter, vice president of governmental affairs at CTIA-The Wireless Association, told reporters Thursday.

Brian Fung reported in the Washington Post that the bill calls for the Federal Communications Commission to organize sales of federally-owned bandwidth.

Incentive auctions would allow carriers to bid for rights to use government wireless airwaves to offer voice and data services, according to The Post.

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