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Sen. Rockefeller Expected To Reintroduce Spectrum Bill

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) is expected to reintroduce a bill as early as today that would authorize incentive auctions to repay broadcasters who voluntarily give up spectrum for wireless broadband. The bill would make it clear that the reclamation needs to be truly voluntary.

If reintroduced, it would come the same day that the FCC voted to create a technical framework for an interoperable public safety network. Rockefeller's bill would pay for that network out of proceeds from the spectrum auctions, as well as give spectrum to public safety for that purpose. There is disagreement in Congress and in the public safety community over whether the government should give the so-called D block of spectrum to first responders or auction it and try to create a public-private partnership that would create a commercial network for them. The Coalition for 4G in America, which includes Clearwire, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile, want the FCC to auction that spectrum.



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