WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wireless spectrum and the federal policies that surround it are complicated. For years, Congress has struggled to establish the necessary and lasting spectrum policies our nation needs to support the growth of wireless communication. Public advocates and Congressional representatives have univocally expressed concern over the government’s current approach to spectrum allocation, keeping the best and most valuable for its own agencies, without even requiring them to declare it as the valuable asset it is.
In his newest op-ed, Grover Norquist explains the value of wireless spectrum, and the pressing need for Congress to establish a plan that will allow spectrum availability to keep pace with the rapid expansion of wireless communication technologies. By 2019, the United States mobile data traffic is predicted to increase 6-fold from the 2014 levels. If commercial spectrum availability does not increase in tandem, Americans will suffer from dangerous levels of congestion and interference.
Spectrum sales are also a government cash cow. If Congress sold just 1 quarter of agency held spectrum for commercial use, it could generate up to $200 billion in pure revenue. That money could be used to reduce the debt or the tax burden on American citizens.
Norquist addresses this and more in his new article:
“Spectrum delivers our wireless communications, like broadcast television, AM/FM radio, WiFi and smartphone traffic, through the air. Our ever-increasing consumption of wireless data coupled with spectrum scarcity, makes it a cherished resource for companies that want to deliver wireless services.
The fed, of course, does not want to part ways with its gold, especially since this particular asset doesn’t have to show up on the balance sheet.
We need more spectrum to market. There are plenty of buyers. The feds need an incentive. Senator Rubio has the carrot/stick.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which manages federal spectrum use, must restructure and reclaim under-used spectrum—“clean the attic”. Then let the Federal Communication Commission manage the commercial auctions—“host the yard sale”
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